French Rafale Versus USA Corruption


The F22 Raptor is the USA air superiority plane. It cost too much and proved too fragile. In USA style stealth, sharp angles are used because only reflections in discrete directions come back. So the USA style stealth plane acts as a diamond: a bright radar flash is followed by nothing, as the plane has moved slightly in the next sweep, and the sharp reflection went far away.

In 2009, in the United Arab Emirates, F22s Raptors met French Rafales in mock combat. The French weekly Air & Cosmos released an instructive picture. Here is a F22, in the gun sight of a Rafale:

USA F22 Raptor In Crosshairs Of French Rafale. The Outmaneuvered F22 is Fully Vectoring.


[All the targeting data was removed.]

The word “blasphemy” comes to mind. To put things in their proper context, the Rafale is a superlative bomber and ground attack plane. Contrarily to the F22 Raptor, it was not built just for air supremacy.

In the above picture, the Raptor is obviously maneuvering hard in the vertical plane: its nose is up, and one can see the bright flares of its two engines in post combustion, as they vector as hard as they can (see the supersonic shockwaves in the white jet exhausts). The F22 is trying to escape an inverted Rafale pulling with a lot of acceleration (“gs”) toward the ground. The F-22 is clearly not in a position for a gun or an infrared missile shoot (“fox2“). The thrust vectoring the F22 is engaging into is killing its speed. if the Rafale does not shoot it right away, it’s going to be the biggest slow moving turkey the sky has ever seen, within a few seconds.

Also remember that the Rafale carries its missiles externally, and normally the F22 does not (because, if it did, it would lose stealth). So the Rafale is capable of an instantaneous InfraRed missile shot on the F22, should the latter somehow escape the Rafale’s 30 mm gun…

Radars use intermittency to detect a moving object, so, if a reflection is followed by no reflection as the target has moved slightly, the electronic connected to the radar sees nothing.

One of the many disadvantages of USA style stealth is that sharp angles are not very aerodynamic, resulting in all sorts of problems, including fatigue of the exposed parts of the plane. Thus some of the plastic of the F-22 wore off, and had to be replaced by titanium (which is highly reflective).

The F22 Raptor plane is made of toxic polymers and epoxy glue, and technicians have to wear mask and gloves when approaching it. Cough and actually asphyxia have been reported in or around the plane. Making it the only neurotoxic plane in the world.

The F22 also cost 400 million dollar apiece. (And the F-22 lacks more recent features such as High Off Bore Sight and Helmet Mounted Display, let alone a very long range missile such as the Meteor.)

The F-22 was thus replaced by the smaller, cheaper, much slower F-35. With just one single engine. Four hundred (400) billion dollars has been spent on the F-35, and still, more than ten years later, it has not dropped a bomb, fired one missile, or a single canon shell

[Latest News, January 2015: The F35 will not fire its gun before 2019, at the earliest!]

The F35 program is actually the most expensive defense program, ever. By a very long shot.

By comparison, the Manhattan project cost 20 billion dollars, by the time it had dropped two nuclear fisson bombs on Japan and forced its surrender (and the hurried suicides of a few of the military plutocrats who terrorized Japan).

The F35 cannot cruise at supersonic speeds (the Rafale can cruise supersonically, and stealthily, with ten tons of weapons hanging outside). One may wonder if the F-35 could have caught up with the 9/11 terrorists… (After all, F15s, which fly much faster, could not, but at the time nobody expected that the USA would be attacked the way France had been in 1996, by suicidal highjackers!)

Now for a somewhat peaceful sight:

Rafale (on the left) and Typhoon Eurofighter (built respectively by French Dassault and part-French EADS, the company that owns Airbus). Both planes were successfully engaged in Libya, although:

1) The Eurofighter needed assistance from Tornado bombers to… bomb. (The Tornadoes detected and painted targets for the Eurofighters’ laser guided bombs. Eurofighters can’t bomb on their own!)

2) The Rafales were fully autonomous, and proved capable, using their active stealth, to search and destroy enemy missile batteries and radars of a fully functional air defense system.

3) Somehow American business men and their friends in Washington were able to persuade some of the nations which (helped) built (and purchase) the Typhoon Eurofighter to pitch into the F-35 Lightning II program. That’s very remarkable.

The United Kingdom, which is in a depression (its GDP numbers are worse than in the 1930s) and bankrupt Italy are now funding a useless, immensely expensive plane… made in the USA. As if money grew on trees, or, at least, so it does in Washington. How much money has been passing under that table?

Rafales recently visited Great Britain. Instructions were issued to British pilots, with their “Typhoon” Eurofighters, to NOT engage in war games with French Rafales.

Is it all bad with the Typhoon Eurofighters? Well, not at all, as long as they stay away from Rafales, and go shoot F22s!

Lockheed Martin haughtily claims: “the F-22 is the only aircraft that blends supercruise speed, super-agility, stealth and sensor fusion into a single air dominance platform.”

In mid-June 2012, 150 German airmen and eight twin-engine, non-stealthy Typhoons arrived at Eielson Air Force Base in Alaska for an American-led Red Flag exercise involving more than 100 aircrafts from Germany, the U.S. Air Force and Army, NATO, Japan, Australia and Poland.

Eight times during the two-week war game, single German Typhoons flew against single F-22s , simulating close-range dogfights.

Conclusion? In a close-range tangle — which pilots call a “merge” — the bigger and heavier F-22 is at a disadvantage. German Typhoon pilots said that, when flying without their external fuel tanks, in the WVR (Within Visual Range) arena, the Eurofighter proved to be better than the F22 Raptor.

The F-22 tends to lose too much energy when using thrust vectoring (TV): TV can be useful to enable a rapid direction change without losing sight of the adversary but, unless the Raptor can manage to immediately get a kill, the energy it loses makes the then slow moving plane quite vulnerable!

(Also the F-22 burns fuel like crazy during TV, and it has a short range to start with, due to its poor aerodynamics, and enormous engines to push its brutal shape.)

The Raptor fights well from beyond visual range with its high speed and altitude, sophisticated radar and long-range  AIM-120 AMRAAM missiles. Yet the AMRAAM maximum range is around 100 kms, less than the Meteor missile used by the Typhoon (and the Rafale!).

At this point, the partisans of the F22 will start their usual USA superiority sing-song. They will say, the Raptor is so stealthy, outside of visual range, it will sneak onto non stealthy Typhoons. And yet, this is another lie.

At a distance of about 50 km, the Typhoon IRST (Infra-Red Search and Track) system can find even a stealthy plane “especially if it is large and hot, like the F-22 a Eurofighter pilot said. (Another reason for compact beauty, as in the Rafale!)

In any case, the Typhoons killed several Raptors during the Red Flag Alaska. On one day a German pilot quipped: “yesterday, we have had a Raptor salad for lunch.

Other problems with the Raptor: it chokes its pilots, and its long range missiles do not work when it’s… cold (like it tends to get, up there in the sky). Both problems have been with the plane in the last two years, and it’s supposed to stay close to a base all the time!

Ah, and what of the Rafale already?

Well in an exercise, Rafales and Typhoons met, 9 Typhoons got “killed” while a single Rafale was disqualified… for flying too low. “Super agility“, anyone?

So, taxpayers, to your purses! The stealthy Military-Industrial Complex wants more from you. Much more. Some will say: wait a minute, why all these useless planes?  Well, because after charging two billion dollars apiece for the completely useless subsonic B2 bomber, the plane makers of the USA realized they had found a story taxpayers bought with relish: the STEALTH plane. It was a nationalistic story: only the USA had stealth planes. The American public loves nationalistic, only-in-the-USA stories.

One difference between the USA and France is that one needs more nationalistic fervor to keep the USA together (the same applies to other countries, and the less they hold together naturally, the more strident the nationalistic fervor!). The French are more blasé: they are stuck together, anyway (although they feel it would be more elevated not to be).

OK, most publics are nationalistic, but can the most advanced civilization be the most nationalistic? Well, no. Nationalism is a form of hubris, and there is no stealthier poison. Athens tasted of that delicious poison, the poison of hubris, the poison so many in Germany, helas, even while torturting Hellas, tasted with relish.

All and any argument resting on nationalism is logically suspect, it’s a contaminant.

After building and operating for more than a trillion dollar of these useless planes, the F-22, the F-35, more money will be needed… For weapons that really work. Thus a double subsidy for the Military-Industrial Complex. One for useless weapons, and then one, absolutely necessary, for weapons that actually work!


Patrice Ayme


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256 Responses to “French Rafale Versus USA Corruption”

  1. Martin Lack Says:

    In an emerging epoch of ecological scarcity – at the end of era of increasing inequality – expenditure on our respective military forces is unquestionably obscene.

    However, there can no greater obscenity than the UK insisting that it needs to replace its MAD (mutually assured destruction) Trident (i.e. its independent nuclear deterrent) system.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Well, Martin, decades ago, there was a Soviet attack plan on Europe. It anticipated, rather naively, that Soviet armor would stop at the French border. The Soviets’ secret plan was to leave Britain and France alone, because the Soviets were afraid of their nuclear deterrents.
      Of course it would not have worked this way: France intended to use her tactical nukes on Soviet tank concentrations, as soon as they stepped into West Germany.

      Suppose that the West had no military deterrent whatsoever. How long do you think it would take for global war in Asia? Not long at all. It would literally explode, and many of the detonations would be nuclear. It would be the war of all against all. Screaming that’s obscene would not make it any less so.

      If, instead of giving a green light to Hitler in 1935, and making a sort of peace treaty with him, Britain had proclaimed it sided with France, and was going to re-arm, the German generals would probably have got rid of Hitler (as I have said many times, they begged the Brits, 4 years later, to do so!).

      Peace is a nice dream, but one has to work hard for it. The Romans said it best: Si vis pacem, para bellum. For democracy to be, plutocracy has to be crushed, an unending task.

      I am all for getting rid of the city destroying missiles, as long as the democracies are armed in a way superior to anything plutocrats have. I am readying an essay on Chinese plutocracy, by the way…

      • Martin Lack Says:

        Chamberlain was a fool; and I am not a pacifist. I just think that, today, there are much better things the UK could spend its money on…

        • Patrice Ayme Says:

          Dear Martin: As I documented in the past, Churchill was an even bigger fool. OK, Churchill spoke French bilingually, but he was blind about Germany until 1938.

          Moreover, if Chamberlain had followed Churchill’s strong advice about FIGHTER PLANES, Britain would have been successfully invaded by Hitler. Chamberlain’s big mistake was not to join the French at Munich and declare to the hysterical Hitler Britain would join the Czeck and the French, and go to war.
          But that mistake was not made by him alone. Much of British plutocracy was with Hitler and German plutocracy. See king Edward, thrown out for blaring Nazism.

          Oh, by the way, Ramsay Macdonald, a conservative, was PM from 1931 to 1935. Another conservative, Alexander Baldwin, succeeded him, in a coalition government, and was PM from June 1935 to May 1937. The conservative Chamberlain was next.


  2. EugenR Says:

    Wau, impressive analysis. I don’t know too much about war planes, but i do know about what happens, if the treasury budget department doesn’t have control on expenses of an other department, like the army due to “National security” reasons.
    But as to the National security policy, to mine opinion, if to be practical about military built up, you have to do it on very cost-effective way. (If you want to prevent, what happened in Europe before 1914, when Germany and England started military build up, tryingd to create supremacy in the oceans, even if their official policy was friendship. The two kings were cousins after all. At the end the investment in war ships and military equipment had to be justified, and this became one of the reasons the German military was so pro-war). So lets check why exactly US wants military build up.
    I strongly believe, that if the twenty century wars were mostly on Ideological basis (WWII and the cold war), the twenty first century war will be about cultural differences. The main cultural difference are between the consuming based, open societies, and the closed, faith based rigid, ascetic society, denying the right of free choice from its citizens on every aspect of life, including, their believes, their behavior in the public and in their privacy, and how they educate their children. Not to speak about denial of any political rights, rights of minorities, rights of women etc. Who are applying for this definition? Not Europe, not India or the Buddhist Asia. Some would say by mistake China, but China may be a strong competitor of US economic achievements, and Olympic medals, and may have different political system, but since the death of Mao Zedong its aim is to bring China as close to the US standard and way of life as possible. They don’t want to annihilate the US culture, they want to adopt it and enjoy its achievements. So if US wants to build military strength to protect its economic interest, better if it calculates the cost effectiveness of investment and change its policy accordingly. For example it can agree on long term economic cooperation in form of some kind of Pacific Union, (like European Union) and share its wealth with China. It will be less costly than the military built up. If not measured just by GDP, US is more than five times richer than China in absolute terms and per capita 25 times. viz;
    All is left from the potential enemies of US are the Muslim fanatics. There are 1.5 billion Muslims in the world, out of it about 250 million Arabs, who happened to have or are having democratic revolution that brought pro Islam government in them. Pro Islam doesn’t mean military Islam, but it may become one. Let as assume that the most instable Muslim countries, that will include all the Arab states, Iran, some African Muslim states, Afghanistan, and Pakistan (we are speaking about more than half billion people), will become military Muslim countries, whose aim is not only to impose the Sharia law on their citizens, but to try to impose Islam and its undemocratic values on the whole world. This is a real strategic challenge, that rightly US has to prepare itself for. But are the new military planes for any use against this kind of threat? I am doubtful. Even if the Muslim fanatics take over the political leadership in all the mentioned countries, (a very improbable scenario), they will have no capacity to develop any new weaponry, but in the worst case they will be able to develop existing weapons of mass destruction, that were developed long time ago and ceased to be a military secret. And this what happens in Iran and Pakistan who are developing atomic capacity and all the other countries developing biological and chemical weapons.
    I am not a military expert to advice how to cope with this kind of treat, but i do understand that the extra expensive planes have nothing to do with this threats.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear Eugen: before I answer you at length, and find time to do so, let me come back to the four Prussian generals who plotted WWI, with the Kaiser (who was dropped by the plotters in the final phase, July 1914). The two admirals involved, one of them was Tirpitz, were not keen to go to war. They signed on, very reluctantly. They knew the Kriegsmarine could not win over the Royal Navy. They were not keen to see their huge investment in capital ships go to the bottom of the sea.

      Of course the four Prussian idiots thought that Britain would not come to the rescue of Belgium and France. First mistake, due to their crass ignorance. (Disclosure: the head idiot is a very distant relative, no genes in common whatsoever; that means that, by my zeroes, I had heard a very different story from the normal one.)

      So why did they attack? Because so is the inertia of the plutocratic mind that has gone way too far. They knew that democracy was winning economically, in France and Russia. France was investing heavily in Russia. They knew that, inside Germany, the SPD, was pushing ever more for democracy, and would win, in the end, except if war stopped it.

      The plutocrats who held Germany were all for war. When you are ruled by Pluto, and rule in the name of Pluto, you want everybody to join hell as servants. A successful completion of the Schlieffen plan of attack against the rump of France Bismarck had left was the only chance for plutocracy to perdure in Germany. As far as the plutocrats were concerned, it was not much of a choice.

      • EugenR Says:

        Yes they were frightened by Russia. Its economic growth threatened the German economic dominant position. The conspiracy oriented communists would never admit that Russia has done quite a good economic progress after 1905.

        As to the German and French generals, there were all idiots, if they did not understand the fire power of the newly introduced machine guns in all the armies, sending against them unshielded infantry, causing death of million soldiers with in a week or so. Such a sacrifice made cease fire, or God forbid peace treaty unacceptable for both sides without political earthquake. But it took four more years and 9 million more deaths until the political earthquake came.

        I wonder sometime, aren’t we governed by same kind of idiots?

        • Patrice Ayme Says:

          Dear Eugen: The four who plotted the attack, and those who obeyed them were at fault. The Prussian General Staff, more exactly great general Staff, Großer Generalstab, was at fault.

          This means that, in a democracy, army generals should be imposed by the constitution to respect the latter, and that constitution should enshrine the principle of “no war of aggression“. Especially no war of aggression without any good reason, or against a democracy, without fabulously good reason, etc…

          But the Reich’s constitution had it that the Großer Generalstab was pretty much independent. Because of its success, starting against Napoleon, it was viewed as the creator of the Great German Reich. so far so good, until they went off the deep end in the hatred of fascism against democracy, they joined forces with standard plutocracy.

          Now as far as generals being idiots, well… Joffre nearly annihilated the German army in September 1914, after 5 weeks of an harrowing retreat. True, there were lots of extremely costly offensives… But they could have worked! in the end, the Second battle of the Marne was a crushing French victory (“Your Majesty, we have lost the war” said Luddendorff to the Kaiser. Why? What? That battle was completely anticipated by the French high command. And they let the Prussians strike hard, in a vacuum. After that they rolled them back in a pincher, with enormous artillery (the French were making French 75mm guns in the USA by then, so they had really plenty). The counter offensive was horrendous. At some points two American divisions joined a Senegalese (!) division, and all suffered something like 100% casualties in 34 hours. (The French had 45 divisions counter attacking.) The Senegalese and the Germans did not make each other prisonners. (It was not much better with the Americans, inspired by the senegalese example!)

          In the end, what one wants to study, is the impossibility to have professional military that is not a guardian of the Republican Constitution. But, of course, the Great German reich was not a Republic… BTW the 100 year, or 475 years war between France and England was started as a dynastic Franco-French quarrel. It would not have happened if both had been republics.

          And what of Wiemar in all this? Well, ha ha ha, little detail, it was not truly a republic… The German Reich was still formally ongoing, as Hitler noticed all too much… That’s why the engineered inflation of the 1920s, and the service of Wall Street inside Germany, to create the proto-Nazi state, none of this, is very surprising. And the German generals failed again. At least this time, they did not cause the war, they just fail to stop the Nazis (OK, some of them, such as Rommel, were Nazis… For a while at least…)

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear Eugen: OK, let me ask a question: what is the difference between “ideology” and “cultural differences”?

      On a different subject, Western planes mostly from 1) France, 2) Britain, and 3) whatever smashed completely Qaddafi’s war machines. French planes had nearly killed Qaddafi in Chad two decades prior, BTW. The dictator was on an airfield the French Air Force bombed in a very low altitude raid, using bombs with parachutes; at the time Qaddafi’s pilots were from the DDR. Of course, later, the DDR went kaput. To have your pilots shot out of the sky is not a confidence builder.

      At this point, war planes, when they establish dominance, are still the ultimate weapon. Short of nukes. By the way all Rafales double as nuclear bombers, they can be equipped with a standard supersonic cruise missile with a nuclear warhead. This has not escaped India’s attention (nor Pakistan, besides itself with rage). All the more interesting as the Rafale needs only 400 meters for take-off…

      • EugenR Says:

        As to the military war planes, as an army veteran i prefer to know as little as possible about it.
        The difference between Ideology and Culture is substantial. Haven’t you read Samuel P. Huntington’s Clash of civilization?
        From world wide perspective what exactly were the cultural differences between French and German, or even better English and and German. Even the Russians are close to the other Europeans compared to the post Soviet Muslim population. The best indication of cultural differences is the birth rate differences between this nations. Ideology as compared to it is a verbal structure of half truths, sometime logically connected, sometime even not, that is translated into political action. Usually ideology in its essence has some substantial esoteric or extraterrestrial half truth (or lie to be exact). But whom am i teaching about all this?

        • Patrice Ayme Says:

          Dear Eugen: Well, about war planes, if the French republic had had all her war planes in France in May 1940, instead of only half if her warplanes, the Nazi armored mechanical snake striking West (full of Nazi generals such as Rommel or Guderian, both I like in some ways, but they were Nazis, especially in 1940-1941…) would have been destroyed.

          And that would have changed lots of things (for the better: as the Naziest (so to speak) and most disobedient part of the Wehrmacht would have been chopped off, the rest, more sedate and civilized part of the Wehrmacht (Beck, etc.) could have got rid of Hitler and company: no USSR campaign, at least on a wrong moral footing, no Auschwitz, etc.).

          Also the warplane situation, as it is show aspects of the global plutocracy (there again, the real force behind Hitler). Democracy is first about force. The force to resist plutocracy. That’s why true pacifists cannot despise the military, or all and any military matters.

          …And Gandhi, Hitler’s self declared “friend”, is no counter example, quite the opposite…

          I read Huntington. He is so ill informed, he is not even worth contradicting. You see, I was raised and educated outside of Euramerica, in Africa, mostly among local Muslims. What you seem to be saying is that “ideology”, the logic of ideas, is all about ideas, just ideas, whereas culture is more general, it involves feelings.

          And that is the mistake many do. In the case of Muslims, for example, people systematically identify Wahabbism with Islam. But, whereas I subscribe to some forms of Sufi Islam (like I do, say, correct Catholicism), as a social accompaniement, I reject, condemn and despise Wahabbism, as a social imposition.

          A basic mistake of Huntington is to identify culture and religion. Huntington’s stupidity would have made Nietzsche laugh one moment, and being furious, thereafter. And Nietzsche would have been right: how come people in Harvard never read Nietzsche? They don’t like it? Or they can’t understand it? In either case, they are in good company with the Nazis…
          As it is now, the world has pretty much just civilization, and we have to keep on imposing it… By all sorts of ways, in all sorts of places… Syria is a case in point: the West has to support secularists there.

      • EugenR Says:

        You say;
        “ideology”, the logic of ideas, is all about ideas, just ideas, whereas culture is more general, it involves feelings.

        The differentiation between culture and ideology is a wide subject to be smashed out of the table of discussion by one sentence.

        • Patrice Ayme Says:

          You mean: The differentiation between culture and ideology is too wide a subject to be smashed out? I am not afraid of one sentence assertions. After all, that is what equations are.
          Really I think that’s a pretty good differentiation. It’s naive, too, because behind any idea, there is a feeling. Or a set of feelings. Yes even in mathematics. That’s why CERN uses five sigmas: at that point the bell curve depicting the feeling is really very strong and distinct…

  3. Old Geezer Says:

    There is no stopping the MIC. A better strategy might be to change the nature of the products they make.

    For example, NASA was a spin-off of the weapons makers for the exploration of space.

    Nobody got bombed.

    What if the MIC were to do a manhattan project on solar energy?

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Agreed about NASA. Or space. Nowadays, the French military is completely integrated with space. Every single French bombing, or whatever mission is space directed (although the planes, Mirages, Super Etendards and Rafales, can operate independently). the French military operates a galaxy of satellites. And track 3,000 ‘washing machines’ sized objects in orbit. A significant activity is to find out where and what are the undeclared satellites.

      Solar energy works. There is no need for a Manhattan style project. The best photovoltaics, in the lab, already a while back, had an efficiency of 44%. The problem is storage of the electricity (even dams, the most efficient storage, tend to crack; there are cracked dams in France or the USA, next to cities; they are now mostly empty, as quasi-impossible problems tied to democracy, ecology and capital have arisen to do something about them).

      Germany or Spain have run mostly on Solar PV this year, 2012,for days. But what happens if there is two weeks of dramatic cloud cover? The only solution is… the God of the North, Thor. OK, fuel cells could work, if they proved cheap and SAFE. Fuel cell cars would be twice more efficient than the best internal combustion-Carnot cycle cars… If one could solve several problem.

      The Manhattan project should be on Thorium reactors. They will allow the conquest of Mars and the Moon, fast and effective, among other things. Thorium tugs could go fetch ice, and dump it on Mars…

      Notice that for Curiosity, NASA went back to the incomparable Plutonium (notoriously used to force Japanese capitulation by dropping some on a rare Japanese… cathedral…)

      Air batteries offer a prospect of much better energy storage. So should the Manhattan project ought to be directed towards batteries? well, sort of, but there is no need for panic. It would be enough to rise the price of fossil fuel according to their true cost, and the post fossil fuel economy would appear right away. It already does.

  4. Amna S Says:

    Thanks for sharing that, I enjoyed it! Still love fighter planes.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      dear Amna: Yes, well, fighter planes bring lots of the mental flowers of humanity together in an astounding bouquet of blossoms: courage, ambition, daring, intelligence, infinitesimal calculus, dynamics, thermodynamics, flying, electronics, protection, interception, chasing, avoidance, fleeing, triumph of the human spirit, etc. They are not just war machines.

  5. multumnonmulta Says:

    Patrice, to briefly return to your original email, there have been wars where the victors used the most power, not the smartest power.

    As for our military procurement schemes, they have become too much of our fabric to question. Eisenhower made us aware of this, but would not do much himself to sort it out. You see, the great American leader is bold on words, but actually sits on the fence.

    P.S. Thanks for your visits. I hope my being able to post is a reality now.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear Multumnonmulta: Glad to see you re-emerge! War is about winning. Winning by fair means insure the best wins, long term.
      The military procurment schemes will have to be adressed. The F35 has probably to be stopped, be it only for military reason. To call the F35 a flying Maginot Line, would be to insult the Maginot Line.

  6. F22 analysis expanded - Page 19 Says:

    […] […]

  7. taygibay Says:

    Very interesting analysis, Patrice.

    The references to WW II that you exchanged on with EugenR may be the key to why the U.S. MIC is so powerful that it can push for such half-baked products as the F-35. Ever since, the Americans,
    although having entered the conflict by Japanese persuasion only,
    are living a vase clos dream of omnipotency. Anything that goes along this way is correct; anything against it is wrong.
    Of course, America is impressive in its accomplishments but the very fact of its power shields it from auto-reflection and the usual subsequent corrective measures. It simply has the mindset of a teenager as a national entity. ( America as Ancient Greece thinks of others as barbarians. ) This shows up clearly to anyone keeping a watch to the U.S. political field for instance. Some right wing calls for direct election of Congress members have been heard recently, negating the 17th Amendment without so much
    as an eyelid nervous bat but for sarcasm professionals. Calls of
    socialism as an utter insult to the President are also on record.

    No wonder the general public can’t see how their money is being squandered on uber-tech toys of dubious usefulness.

    Although I would defend the WVR lackings of the F-22 since it is almost designed NOt to enter it by supposed virtue of its BVR extreme prowess, the simple fact that Increment 3.2 is at least two years away yet from enabling Link 16 on it serves your views.
    And thus, the F-35 served as an argument to end production by then Secretary of Defense Gates seems almost ludicrous…
    since chances are the Lighting II won’t be ready by 2014 ( sic ).
    Then again, the real usefulness of the said F-35 may still hold,
    namely infeodation of partners/buyers nation by reduction of their
    national fighter industries.
    It is more than somewhat flabbergasting that this outlandish stunt
    could work but if it does as it still very well may, all else will be forgotten, “jeté aux oubliettes”, thrashed into oblivion and your warnings along with it, I’m afraid.

    Which brings to mind Casimir Delavigne’s best verses ever :

    “How many small spirits, jealous of famous names.
    will against the light take the side of darkness.
    Their outrageous numbers make their authority;
    Fools, since Adam, are the majority.”


    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Taygibay, welcome to this site! :-)!
      Here is more water for the mill:

      The BVR, Beyond Visual Range, of the F22 does NOT exist when figthing the Typhoon Eurofighter. The scenario is this:

      Say a F22 flying at Mach 2 is approaching a Eurofighter or Rafale flying also at Mach 2. If the F22 is NOT in stealth mode, because it carries its supplementary tanks. The Eurofighter or Rafale sees the F22 supplementary tanks, and fires a Meteor at 80 kilometers, then turns away. The Meteor flies a mile per second, whereas the Eurofighter/Rafale recedes at 600 meters per second. Within 30 seconds, the Eurofighter/Rafale is out of range of the missile launched by the F22. That later missile has covered only 40 kilometers. The Meteor’s exact range is not too clear, up to 150 kilometers, and, in any case it is much greater than any USA missile, and so is its speed.

      In the other case the F22 is approaching at mach 2, in its stealthy mode. At this point, even 100 kilometers away, it’s already in deep trouble with the Rafale, which can listen in a passive way with its phased array radar. Ok, the F22 also has a passive mode, and let’s suppose it picked up the Rafale. To start having a chance to kill the Rafale, the F22 needs to approach within 50 kilometers, and even closer to the Eurofighter (which can flee faster).

      By then both European fighters will see the Infra Red signature of the F22. Do not forget that the F22 is large and hot. An enormous object with a skin temperature above 100 Celsius is plainly visible, from very very far. It was already very visible ten years old tech, and it gets more visible all the time. Maybe soon it will be visible 100 miles away… both the Rafale and the Eurofighter are equipped with sophisticated Infra Red detectors.

      So say combat starts. At 50 kilometers, the F22, to be stealthy had no tanks to start with, is already missing at least 100 miles of fuel relative to European fighters. Now both the Rafale and the Eurofighter have demonstrated supercruise at mach 1.4 with the tanks and weapons on, so, independently of more sophisticated measures the Euro fighters can escape the F22’s missiles, then turn around, and come back supercruising for more, chasing down the F22 (which supercruises at mach 1.8 with nothing outside).

      At that point the planes are 150 kms apart, still within Meteor range. And the Euro fighters have established dominance (as the F22 fled), they can patrol.

      Should the F22 persists and join combat some more, it will run out of missiles. It can carry a maximum of 6 missiles inside, the European fighters can carry more. Say everybody carried 6 missiles, and finally they run out of missiles (as happened in Vietnam), and gun fighting is engaged. Then, clearly, the F22 is toast. If it does not run out of fuel, its Thrust Vectoring has proven lethal when confronted to Rafales, Eurofighters, and even… Mirages.

      In case of a long distance fight against Rafale the F22 is particularly toast, because the Rafale can make itself invisible on radar, but then can pick the F22 on Infra Red, and then fire an Infra Red (French) MICA missile, flying at one kilometer per second, with a range of 80 kilometers. The F22 will be killed without even knowing what hit it!

      I will not even bother to speak of the F35. It has all defects of the Raptor, and not too many of its qualities (such as speed). Being smaller than the Raptor, it carries fewer missiles, is much slower, etc. Anyway, it’s testimony to the USA MIC’s power than the program has evolved in the world’s greatest sinkhole… mysteriously joined by countries with a superior plane (the Eurofighter).

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Another point is that the Meteor can vary its speed according to the distance of the target, and optimizes fuel for hitting the target at maximum speed, with no fuel left. All this is possible because it’s a Ramjet.

      Studies have shown though that interception with MICA IR missiles will be more frequent, better adapted to the stealth of the Rafale (and extremely deadly to the F22, a huge IR target; the Rafale makes a much smaller IR target, deliberately so). Thus, say a Rafale would carry 6 MICAs and 2 Meteors….plus THREE tanks… A enormous amount of stealthy firepower, and stamina… No wonder the USAF refused to engage F22s against Rafales in BVR fighting…

      • Taygibay Says:

        Thank you very much for the welcome, Patrice. 🙂

        Your answer had me remembering something I read on the subject although I do not remind where :
        400 million bucks for a Stealth Uberplane that may then only be useful to down AWACs; not the best return on investment,
        is it?

        • Patrice Ayme Says:

          Dear Taygibay: I don’t even think it could down AWACS. Two things: if it approaches fast, progress in Infra Red detection will make it very visible. don’t forget the French MICA IR, a passive Infra Red missile, has a range of 80 kilometers (that’s a minimum range as such missiles go so fast, they can keep on flying for a much larger distance, depending how high they are. That’s how a civilian airplane was shot down over the Black Sea, something like 100 kilometers beyond the range of the missile shot in an exercise).

          If the stealth plane approaches super slow, it can still be seen, by just using two AWACS, as one is bound to see it from the side (where the radar reflections are much stronger!) German Eurofighter pilots know this, and basic tactic will be to spread squadrons in a “wall”.

          In a related subjects, the Iranians used F14 Tomcats, with their powerful radar, as AWACS during the Iran-Iraq war. After suffering heavy losses, the Iraqis (or maybe French pilots flying) Mirages reacted craftily. They flew their Mirage F1 so low that they could not be seen by the AWACS. Then they peaked up, and shot down the F14s. True they also had new French aircraft and missiles… But the fact remains that flying real low allows one to approach AWACS…

  8. Sushant Says:

    Excellent analysis Patrice.. I am from India and wanted to put some questions on Rafale, F22 and Pakfa.
    Rafale is a swing role aircraft , no doubt about it, as in your analysis it proves to be more cost effective than the white elephant F22, which isn’t cost effective by any means.

    But the thing keeps on popping up in my mind is why the USAF and Pentagon are still foolishly pursuing that program when they know it is not worth investing in its current design.

    If their 5th Gen program is not working then why dont they start a new project to design and mass produce aircrafts that are practical and their stealth lies somewhere between a 4.5 Gen aircraft(Like Rafale) and a truly stealthy 5th gen aircraft, i.e a 4.75 Gen aircraft (in terms of stealth and avionics ) like the Pakfa?

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Sushant: Welcome to this site! Especially from India. I think India has a lot to teach to the world, and, in particular, China and Russia, both senile elephants, in important ways. The ancient Greeks knew India enough to be influenced by it. They called Indian philosophers, “gymnosophers”, meaning naked wisemen…

      The F22 Raptor is not just a white elephant. It has now proven its inferiority to the Eurofighter. Indeed, it’s now clear that the F22 would not be able to use its stealth in a meaningful way (it would be detected at least 50 kilometers away on a clear day, from its infrared emissions). But it would be handicapped by it. One thing I did not say is that, by spreading out, two Eurofighters could see, on conventional radar, the F22, because the stealth effect is maximized frontally (where, hmm, the IR shining of the F22 is maximal…).

      So after a long range dogfight with missiles and counter-measures, it would be down to a conventional dogfight, where it is known already that a simple Mirage can outfight the F22 (handicapped by its weird geometry, its large size, and its gas guzzling Thrust Vectoring…

      The USAF had initially announced it wanted 750 F22, and less than 200 have been made (including prototypes). They know it does not work, and that is why they proposed the F35. The F35 adressed what they consented to admit where the problems with the F22… But they did not admit to its main problems, in no small part from self hypnotism. Now the confrontation with the Eurofighter has made the situation clear.

      So India made an excellent choice with the “omnirole” Rafale. It remains to the US Navy to do the same. even Israel is leaving the sinking F35 (discreetly, they want fewer and fewer of them…)

      The one and only true Fifth Generation stealth aircraft is actually the Rafale. Rafale’s SPECTRA, active stealth can be improved indefinitely. When the stealth engineers, USA style, thought of stealth, they did not think of astronomy. In astronomy detection of weak radiosources and weak infrared sources progresses by leaps and bounds. This makes passive stealth impossible.

      The Pak Fa seems to me to have lots of the problems of the F22 from large size to meager payload (less than the Rafale, for three times the naked mass). As soon as they punch the power, it will stick like a sore thumb in the Infra Red, an obvious target for a MICA IR missile (range 80 kilometer, speed one kilometer per second). The Rafale and Mirage can carry up to ten MICA IR.

      It’s all about the MIC, not really defense…

      • de Foucaud Paul Says:

        Dear Sushant,
        I want to finish my answer :
        within A2A combat IIR MICA is always tremendous in short range and able to “shoot out the shoulder” with the help of your wingman. Demonstrated.
        Within the A2G, actions demonstrated

        • de Foucaud Paul Says:

          Go on :
          …abilities, the MICA concept allows a shoot over the shoulder providing then a unique capablity the other opponents do not have.
          So, Rafales pairings together are looking as tremendous snakes

      • de Foucaud Paul Says:

        MICA acronym : Missile d’Interception de Combat et d’Autodéfense.
        From a former staff program.

        Self defense function A2A is a real challenge with a missile.

        Thank’s to Data Link between a pair of fighters and vector trust missile abilites

    • de Foucaud Paul Says:

      Dear Sushant,
      as a retired ingeneer figther and test pilot for years expert in weapon systems I fully agree your answer to Patrice.
      Within the A2A action, people too often forget the incredible operational aptitude of the IIR MICA BVR missile as well

  9. Taygibay Says:

    To add to Patrice’s answer, Sushant, “why the USAF and Pentagon are still foolishly pursuing that program” concerns less the F-22 since its production is now ended for keeps than the F-35. And yet as I mentioned, the Lightning II has the “merit” of infeudation** of partner/client Nations to the American MIC.
    However, the U.S.N. has already begun looking ahead to the next stage as seen in the Boeing FA-XX you check here :
    Better safe than sorry, go Navy go, 😉


    ** Erratum for the initial mispelling in my first answer. An atavism of sorts for a native French speaking person, sorry. 🙂

    • Taygibay Says:

      *miSSpelling* Sigh, not doing well, darn me 🙂 A typo in an erratum,
      sorry all and good day”

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear Taygibay: Now let me follow this. The F35 was supposed to replace the F18 Super Hornet. Now they are talking about the F18 going until it breaks apart in 2030… That’s as clear an admission that the F35 does not work. Indeed the F18 has triple the range, carries much more, goes faster… OK, the F35 “stealth”… But does that really has a meaning, besdies being a poorly constructed aircraft?

      Also the USA MIC will have to discover $$$ don’t grow on trees, even in the USA. The USAF already has a (ill defined) long range bomber program (of sorts). At some point the B52s will fall apart…And the USA spent 400 billion already on a useless plane (F35, and I am not counting the just as useless F22). A plane like the Rafale is equipped for nuclear strikes with a stand off supersonic cruise missile (and it can take off in 400 meters…). With air refueling and supplementary tanks, they can go far (5,000 kms at least)…

      • Taygibay Says:

        Yes, Patrice! Your second paragraph’s first sentence in the above reply is spot on : Dollars, or Euros et al for that matter, do not grow on trees!!! That is quite simply the crux of the matter and explains why the Rafale now seems so attractive.

        Let’s remember :
        A- that France has a much less important budget to devote to military spending than the U.S.A.
        B- that France compares to the U.S.A. in its will to produce mili tech on a National basis for reasons pertaining to independence of means and action, which reaches both the
        military but also consequently industrial sectors.
        C- that the Rafale was intended from the start as a Do-it-all
        weapons system* for monetary reasons that had already reached the thinkers of defence matters and politicians in Paris at the time ( circa 1980s ).

        That is what makes the Rafale so attractive nowadays ( and why Dassault coined the much maligned Omnirole tag/term for its fighter-bomber).
        In the meanwhile, America started down the same road to the two-pronged approach that brought us the F-22 & F-35
        duo. However, having both the habit of ultra-tech and some billions more to spend, the MIC was empowered to go for broke which it dutyfully did :(.
        Two planes instead of one, Stealth wunderbar, etc even as budget shrinking was rearing its ugly head in real politics.
        Russia & China were the left-over “losers” of the Twentieth century’s second half, Cold War et al and could be counted on to play catch-up, as they did with PAK_FA or J-20, thus justifying the on-going bonfire of American taxpayers’ hard earned cash.
        Had the 21th century not come along, all would have been fine but, alas, it did :D!

        The MIC still does not know how to do cheap; the military still thinks of needs as being filled by the red&white-clad chap from the end of the year smorgasborg of mili goodies and of course, polticos have become way too proficient at throwing money out the windows to just give up the habit ( probably as hard a job as that of smokers & heroin addicts anyhow ).
        A nice little world-spanning financial crisis later, F-22 is but a fourth of planned acquisition target and closed and the F-35
        gets caught with its fat dysfunctional paw in the honey jar.

        Thus the little French plane that could ends up closer to reality and its requirements and while India’s first stringent and honest tender gives it the thumbs up, one can’t but wonder why the person that decided to go for the OneMilitaryNationalIndependent option has not been awarded the Logic Nobel Prize. 🙂

        Bets are now open on future realignment of concepts …

        Good day all, Tay.

        P.S. BTW, had it not been for the “too many cooks spoil the sauce” and reliance on American sourcing, the EF2000 might
        very well have been just as good.

        • Patrice Ayme Says:

          Dear Tay:
          As it is the EF2000 (Eurofighter Typhoon) is VASTLY inferior to the Rafale:
          1) Can’t bomb alone (it needed Tornadoes to designate targets in Libya, just as the UK was retiring a Tornado squadron)
          2) The radar of the Rafale is way ahead, and the EF 2000 hopes to catch up by 2018, or so. By then the Rafale would have moved on.

          SPECTRA is made by Thales which is contracted to make the electronic of the new heavy British aircraft carriers… That means the electronic superiority of the Rafale is acknowledge by all.

          The EF 2000 does not have ONE clear advantage on the Rafale. They have both supercruised, all weapons hanging out, around Mach 1.4 (Rafale) 1.5 (EF). So the much vaunted EF speed advantage on the Rafale is insignificant in practice.

          The fact that the EF 2000 depends on so many USA equipment is obviously a disavantage, as the USA has used this in the past (say against… Finland).

          What you point out is that the French had to go lean and mean. The USA MIC became fat and lazy. I view the much vaunted “stealth” as just a story that could be sold to legislators. “Stealth” has allowed to spend one trillion dollar on various programs (F 117, B2, F22, F35, and many other prototype) of dubious military value (the heavy bombing being done by B52, B1, F16, F15, F18, A10…). It was a story for children, and the children bought the new toys.

          It’s highly likely that, should a force of 195 F22s (all there is!) opposed 195 EF 2000s, the F22 force would be exterminated. Let alone if they faced 195 Rafales… The Rafale, by the way, can play the penetrating nuclear bomber that the USA wants to develop (although it has not been decided whether it would be supersonic or not; a nuclear armed Rafale can penetrate under the radar at supersonic speed).

          The EF 2000 was developed because Dassault insisted on a smaller plane (for the aircraft carriers and… stealth…). In practice, although a small beauty, the Rafale carries as much and goes as far, or more and further than its competition, be it EF 2000, or F22.

          In truth too, Dassault thought it had decades of experience with building fighters, and should be the boss, and did not want to build a plane by commitee. EADS is mostly a civilian company, not military, and it is widely viewed that the EF 2000 is their first and last fighter-bomber. Several of the techs they used were first developed by Dassault, sometimes decades before (delta wing, canard, fly by wire). Dassault’s real name was Bloch, a French Jew, and Dassault stayed secretly very close to the Israeli Air Force (Kfir fighter, etc.)

          The Rafale can take higher gs, from the simple trick of a 29 degree seat… (But it has the displays and commands to go with it). It’s pretty hilarious that, in the end, the USA is left with the F teens series… (There is no doubt these are excellent planes, BTW…)

        • de Foucaud Paul Says:

          Dear Sushant,
          I want to finish my answer :
          within A2A combat IIR MICA is always tremendous in short range and able to “shoot out the shoulder” with the help of your wingman. Demonstrated.
          Within the A2G, actions demonstrated in recent operations over Afganistan, Lybia and Mali, Rafale demonstrated unique capabilites

      • de Foucaud Paul Says:

        I fully agree with tour answer.
        Definitively this topic is looking as ranging on your top populars Inès ?

  10. The World Gears Up While U.S. Dumbs Down – Obama & McCain Terminate F-22 Stealth Raptor Program For Inferior F-35: McCain Gates Agree Sodomy Shower Policy! | Political Vel Craft Says:

    […] French Rafale Versus USA Corruption ( Share this: Pin ItShare on TumblrDiggPrintEmailLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. This entry was posted in barack obama, china, General electric, government, mccain, obama, political, politics, russia, soetoro, subversion, treason, united states, video and tagged barack obama, china, f-22, gates, General electric, government, homosexuals, j-11, John McCain, Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor, Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II, mccain, obama, pentagon, president, robert gates, russia, stealth, t-50, united states. Bookmark the permalink. […]

  11. marauder Says:

    Your analysis is hilariously ill-informed and mostly wrong. You are aware that in these exercises that the F-22 starts defensive. The fact that the Rafale or EF-2000 have scored “kills” on the F-22 means nothing; EF-18Gs have scored “simulated” BVR kills on the F-22 while F-18Es have scored simulated kills on the F-22 with a combination of helmet mounted displays (which the Rafale was famously late in getting) and high-off-boresight missiles. The F-22 has gone up against F-15SGs which have AESA radars and much more powerful IRST sensors than Rafale not to mention greater speed and range and far more powerful EW systems than the Rafale. Whatever WVR deficiencies the F-22 may have are being solved with the addition of the HMD and HOBS.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear Marauder: Maybe some of what you say holds the road as a partial point of view. I don’t have the time to dig. However it’s deeply irrelevant. Obama himself saif that: “[the F22] did not work too well, so we stopped it”. Actually the F22 works so poorly that getting in the air at all seems too much of a challenge, most of the time. Clearly both the stealth-everything and the Trhust vectoring were mistakes. Also the plane, while huge, hence highly visible, carries very little. The F22 has never seen a combat mission. Indeed, it’s not clear what it could do (can it even carry bombs?).

      The F35 has all the defects of the F22, plus new, more drastic ones. Its performance is similar to that of the ill fated F105 Thunderchief of the Vietnam war. Its range is ridiculous, and obviously the F18 is a much better plane (which did not make it very far in the Indian competition for a new superiority fighter-bomber… for insufficient performance).

      The Rafale is a fully functionnal “omnirole” fighter-bomber. It has proven it in Afghanistan, and in Libya, and, soon it will do so in Mali. After killing Kadafi’s armor in the opening, it killed Kadafi himself at the very end. Meanwhile it did high precision bombing that the Eurofighter needed assistance (from Tornadoes!) to do…

      For the USA to acquire the Rafale and the Meteor while selling the Europeans some of the areospace where the USA is superior (drones), is the way to do it. One has always to remember 1939… When France and britain were on one side, and the USA, de facto, on the other…

      • marauder Says:

        What does Obama know about 5th gen fighters? His administration capped F-22 production on the supposed basis that Russia and China wouldn’t be producing 5th Gen aircraft in the near-term. That reasoning has been shown to be quite faulty. Presidential candidate Romney has indicated that he will re-open the F-22 line (the line is “warm”).

        If the thrust-vectoring and low-observables were mistakes why are the Russians and the Chinese and the Indians and the South Koreans and the Japanese all committing the same blunders on their future aircraft? Europe has no future manned aircraft either under-development or planned. Eurofighter proposed a thrust-vectoring version of the Eurojet engines to India and India flies thrust-vectoring versions of the Su-30. These are huge airplanes which have performed very well in exercises with US and European forces.

        The F-22 carries 8 AAMs internally and a huge amount of fuel. It can supercruise in full combat configuration and sustain a 28 degree turn rate at least Mach 1.0 in this configuration. No other fighter in the world can do this. The Eurocanards can only supercruise in a near slick configuration.

        Ever notice how the Rafale carries *three* external fuel tanks? It has very little internal fuel. The F-22 can drop GPS guided small-diameter bombs. It hasn’t seen combat because there’s been no need; there’s been no air-to-air threat that the US teen series couldn’t handle and the B-1B and B-2 have smashed the air defense systems and ground targets of Serbia, Iraq and Libya with no problem.

        How is the performance of the F-35 similar to the F-105? The F-35 has greater range on internal fuel and a full combat load than almost any other fighter on the planet. The F-35A is capable of sustaining 9Gs and a 50 degree AoA. The F-105 could do none of these things; it was a supersonic tactical nuclear bomber which was quickly replaced by the vastly better F-111.

        The Super Hornet is a very good aircraft but India refused to fund the EPE engines and conformal fuel tanks but apparently is okay with funding the Rafale’s AESA and Dassault’s horribly low-ball offer.

        The production AESA in the Rafale is about the same capability as the AESA that flew in the F-16 Block 60 over a decade ago.

        The Rafale was only able to bomb in the open after the US fired hundreds of cruise missiles and the B-1B and B-2 smashed the Libya air-defense system.

        Why would the US want an 80’s era design like the Rafale when the 90’s era designed Super Hornet has proven to be as good if not better than the Rafale M in exercises (including one where the Rafale pilot dumped his aircraft in the sea during maneuvers and had to be rescued by the US Navy).

        Meteor is still years away from initial service and has some major limitations the US used Ramjet powered AMRAAM in the first Gulf War with some success. A Ramjet AMRAAM was offered to Europe in the mid-90’s but the Euros rejected it and have spent the intervening nearly 20 years on Meteor which still has not entered service. If the Meteor is so good why did France recently buy and live fire the GQM-163 Coyote Ramjet missile from the US?

        Only the UK, which co-developed the Meteor, has shown any interest in integrating the Meteor on its F-35s. The most common request from pilots is *more* air-to-air missiles not fewer. The Meteor’s weight, volume, drag and price run counter to this trend.

        • Patrice Ayme Says:

          Dear Marauder: This is a vast and technical subject. The essence of my argument was that neither the F22 nor the F35 work. it’s true that the USSR Russia and China have developped (PASSIVE) stealth planes of sorts, but, precisely, they found the whole thing flawed. The whole problem, at this point is that, short of flying a dirigeable, it’s impossible to hide Infra Red emissions.

          I was not the one who did a detailed comparison between the F105 and the F35 first. I am persuaded that the F35 will go the way of the F22; a few dozens produced, and then forget it.

          What the AESA can exactly do is probably not out there in the open. I very much doubt the claims made for the Grippen (because of what happened in Switzerland, where the secret army study found the (Eurofigther and the) Rafale vastly superior, but the government went for the Grippen… A decision that will be some day reverted).

          I have no doubt that the Super Hornet is a better plane than the F35, as far as winning in a war. Never heard about the Rafale in the drink, saved by Uncle Sam, although I heard about Rafales flying too low in mock combat…

          The Rafales, covered and attacked Anti-Aircraft-Artillery and missiles, while the Mirages bombed Kadafi’s well defended armor army, 12 hours before the general attack against Libya’s anti-aircraft capability by the USA. The French suffered no losses and annihilated the armor army, on the outskirts of Benghazi. The French acted unilaterally, because waiting just one more hour would have found the entire armored army inside Benghazi. At it was, the first tanks reached Benghazi. Sarkozy announced during the last chance conference in Paris, around 10am, on Saturday, that the French Air Force had started bombing. That unilateral act was not expected by the Kadafis.

          Overall, I am suggesting the West would be better served with much closer cooperation in armaments.

          Mitt’s geometry is more variable than that of the F111. I am sure he will not start the F22 again. Except if he shut down the F35 first… I would bet he would start a new program.

      • marauder Says:

        Don’t get me wrong: the Rafale is a very good aircraft, well respected by the USAF and USN and easily the best of the Eurocanards (though the Gripen-NG, if it’s ever developed, would be a very capable but less expensive alternative).

        However, the Rafale is a very expensive fighter and its price and complexity puts it in direct competition with the Gen 4.5/4.75 Su-30MKI+/Su-35s and the F-15SG/SA/SE both of which are superior in most every respect.

        The Rafale is more expensive than the Super Hornet Blk II and at best marginally more capable; the Super Hornet International would still be cheaper and would eliminate most of Rafale’s advantages. The UAE famously remarked that Rafale was “yesterday’s technology.” If you’re a country that is able to spend $90 million per fighter and doesn’t want to buy Russian or American then the Rafale is a very good aircraft.

        The F-35 comparison is quite controversial. The folks at Air-Power Australia have been highly critical of the F-35 but have been totally dismissive of all of the Eurocanards. This is partly due to Australia’s unique defense needs and may not truly reflect the intrinsic characteristics of these aircraft.

      • marauder Says:

        The French language source for the Rafale’s crash during air-to-air combat exercises against USN Super Hornets is here:

        There’s absolutely no evidence to suggest that Russia, India or China are discontinuing their VLO fighter efforts; on the contrary they appear to be accelerating them. The PAK-FA, FGFA and J-20/J-Whatever are well underway with development contracts and production contracts signed or pending. They’ve put their money where their prototypes are.

        Yes, IR emissions are a challenge but one that can be addressed through a combination of active and passive features or in the case of the F-35, directed infra-red countermeasures (DIRCM) that can blind the Focal Plane Arrays (FPAs) used in IIR systems like AIM-9X, MICA-IR and IRSTs used by Rafale, the F-15SG/SA and many other aircraft. DIRCM has already been used in combat on larger aircraft to defeat IR SAMs.

        Unlike FPAs, AESA radar receivers are highly immune to EM saturation attacks. Also, IRSTs have 40 – 50KM in ideal conditions (low humidity, high altitude, clear skies); the crystal clear, long range IRST images you’ve seen are mostly taken in Nevada or a similar climate like the middle east. Or they are extremely close range captures (like the IRST image of the B-2 taken during an airshow).

        The new engines being developed by the US Air Force research lab in conjunction with Pratt & Whitney (to be retrofitted to the F-35) and GE are specifically optimized to reduce IR emissions; body IR can be alleviated by dumping skin friction heat into the fuel but the heat exchanger/engine interface needs more development scheduled to be completed around 2020.

        The Gripen evaluated by the Swiss Air Force was clearly out of its league (the Swiss Air Force’s legacy F-18 Hornets were superior). But the Rafale and Eurofighter are way too expensive and complex for Switzerland’s needs.

        Really, the Super Hornet International would be the best fit but the “Buy European” pressure groups won out. If developed, the Gripen NG will surely be a successful export aircraft and Switzerland will benefit from the sales. Neither Eurofighter nor Rafale could provide that level of industrial engagement.

        Nearly 200 F-22s were produced in its 8 year run. The F-35 continues to win new export customers and its current export customers are starting to pay for their initial aircraft. Money and aircraft have changed hands which is far more than can be said about Rafale and India.

        Capping F-35 production or canceling it is extremely unlikely because of the interlocking industrial arrangements within the US and the JSF partners. Are the Brits going to walk away from a F-35B that has 30% UK content? That’s the same percentage UK content as the Eurofighter!

        F-35 is being produced at a rate of four aircraft a month with ramp rate of 20 – 30 a month well underway for full-rate production. The mature Super Hornet line does around four aircraft a month. The Eurofighter line has a slightly higher production rate but it is scheduled to decline and layoffs at the factories have already begun.

        Dassault can do *one* Rafale a month! That’s not particularly impressive for an aircraft that began deliveries *ten* years ago! Maybe Dassault can surge to a higher production rate; I’m sure the Indians are eager to see that day.

        With the new ADVENT engines scheduled for 2020 there is talk of a 5.5/6th gen new aircraft and the USN has already sent out a Request For Proposals; Boeing is known to have an internally funded 5.5/6th gen development project and I’m sure Lockheed and Northrop Grumman do as well.

        But the bigger priority is the Next Generation Bomber.

        The US offered to cooperate with Europe on what became the Meteor; Hughes/Raytheon had already successfully destroyed Iraqi aircraft with Ramjet AMRAAMs in the first Gulf War and offered a variant to Europe. But Europe *refused* The US tried to cooperate with Europe on what eventually became ASRAAM but Europe refused and the US went on to develop the AIM-9X (now in Blk II form) which has outsold ASRAAM internationally by a huge margin.

        So cooperation on armament development with Europe has a fairly terrible track record. Even so, I want MEADS to succeed because I too think trans-atlantic cooperation is important. In any event, the US will get the PAC-3 MSE developed for MEADS regardless of whether MEADS is put into production or not.

        Perhaps a joint Air-to-Surface Ramjet cruise missile derived from the Meteor and the Coyote would be a good project for Europe and the US to undertake. There’s clearly a need on both sides of the atlantic for such a capability.

  12. Paul de Foucaud Says:

    Je découvre votre site et vous félicite pour cet excellent article.
    J’aurais des propositions à vous faire pour l’améliorer en tant qu’expert en systèmes d’armes aéroportés.
    Bien à vous.

  13. Paul de Foucaud Says:

    vous pourriez en rajouter une couche en Air-Sol avec l’AASM (Armement Air Sol Modulaire).
    Ce concept, à l’instar du MICA en air-air offre des capacités inégalées en termes de souplesse d’emploi (mulicibles, tous temps, courte à moyenne portée, précision, cibles en mouvement avec la nouvelle version guidée laser, capacité de tir en virage de très bassse altitude jusqu’en haute altitude.etc.) ; cela a fait la différence au dessus de la LYBIE.
    Ceci, sans compter les économies d’échelle en termes de panoplie d’armements et coûts d’intégration avion.
    En air sol il faut au moins 3 F-35 avec des JDAM’s courte portée pour faire le travail d’un Rafale réalisée bien mieux en moyenne portée en MA ; et il en faudrait au moins autant pour l’air-air.
    Il convient de rappeller que le F-22 cherche à faire modifier son logiciel de tir pour devenir capable d’engager en air sol autrement qu’en mission préparée à l’avance !
    Définitivement, comme vous, je m’interroge sur la pertinence du concept F-22 et F-35.
    L’AASM s’est inscrit dès le départ comme étant une famille d’armements de précision faisant la jonction entre la courte portée des armements AGL et celle des missiles longue portée type SCALP.
    Je reste à votre disposition pour d’autres éléments et entre autres vous détailler la genèse du sigle AASM.
    Je vous laisse toute liberté pour intégrer ces éléments comme bon vous semble en langage angli-saxon.

  14. Paul de Foucaud Says:

    j’ai une image pour améliorer le logo mais n’arrives pas à l’intégrer ni à vous l’envoyer.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Oui, les mysteres de l’Internet sont profonds. Je vais vous expedier un courriel, sur compuserve, et il vous sera possible d’y repondre (si cela ne suffit pas, j’ai aussi um! que j’expedierai si il le faut). Tres interessante, votre note precedente…

      Les Americains ont, malheureusement, un bias anti-francais super desagreable… depuis 1934 (!), et cela a eut des consequences regretables sur l’Europe et le monde. Integrer plus les systemes de defense serait une bonne facon de sortir de cette orniere… Et il y a une bonne raison de le faire en ce moment meme, car les competences semblent for differentes en ce moment, suivant les armements.

  15. de Foucaud Paul Says:

    l’évolution des systèmes d’armes aéroportés ne sont pas le fruit du hasard.
    Ils naissent du besoin de survivre à. bord.
    Nous avons eu en France la formidable opportunité d’être autonomes et de ce fait libres d’inventer dans des budgets retreints.
    De mon point de vue, le Rafale est le Spitfire du 21éme siècle et le signe avec 35000 h de vol.
    Relire à ce propos le vol de Peter Colins. pilote d’essais UK, sur Rafale.

  16. Taygibay Says:

    I hope you did not have it already :
    Check the JSF logo and a Merry Christmas to you & yours, Patrice

  17. de Foucaud Paul Says:

    From an anglosaxon point of view, it is very hard to cope with a Rafale looking as a 21th century “Spitfire” fighter.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Well the F22 was a disaster, and the F35 looks like an even bigger disaster… the entire principle of dumb stealth turns out not to be stealthy, but certainly dumb, something that was obvious all along…

      Now anybody who thinks in the Pentagon will go the drone route (that’s already engaged, including by the Navy), or then the … Rafale/Typhon(=Eurofighter)(/Wiggen) route. Now of these the Rafale is better, overall. Logically the USA and company should buy Rafales while selling combat drones… And cooperation may be the better thing for hypersonic ramjets… There will already be cooperation with NASA’s Orion, to be pushed and fed by ESA’s ATV…

      • de Foucaud Paul Says:

        Good point of view!
        US ISR Combat drones are a must today and I hope the FAF Will have some of them soon.
        They are useful when air superiority is on.
        If not, the Rafale will vanisch such aircraft from the skies as fast as to tell about it.
        This still remain true against low manœuvrering UCAV limits in g loads due to the need to keep satellite communications.
        I personnally think the US Navy cope with E-F/A 18 & G Hornets is for the capabilities to jam a far superior ECCM spectrum the stealth concept can’t cope with.
        Happy Christmas.

        • Patrice Ayme Says:

          Happy Winter Solstice/Saturnials/Noel/Xmass, Paul!
          I did not think about maintening a link put a clamp on high g loads… A drone could certainly not fly upside down… It’s rather ironical that the F18 Super Hornet looks better than the F35… In most ways… And the F18 has a huge range. All this making, I’m afraid, the F35, at most, into a niche product… Funny that they persist in funding it, with all the budget cuts looming…

          • de Foucaud Paul Says:

            The price to pay for passive stealtiness is less fuel aboard, a poor A2A & A2G capacity, and medium handling performance.
            A part ECCM and SEAD capabilities, the F-18, all types is a dog infront the

          • de Foucaud Paul Says:

            The price to pay for passive stealtiness is less fuel aboard, a poor A2A & A2G capacity, and medium handling performance.
            A part ECCM and SEAD capabilities, the F-18, all types is a dog in front the Rafale.
            USN pilots where impressed by it when training aboard the Nimitz CV.

            • Patrice Ayme Says:

              Paul: meilleurs voeux! Another problem with USA style stealth is that the sharp angles create unnatural aerodynamics, and that, in turn creates quick demolition of the plane. They had to replace parts of the F22 with sturdy, but much less stealthy material. As planes are supposed to be used multiple times, it’s a serious problem.
              The range of the F35 is less than a third that of the F18, no?

              As the Brits were able to detect in combat low flying small Exocets from 20 kms away, 30 years ago, I really doubt that big lumbering planes cannot be detected from very far away, nowadays… Let alone their Infra Red signatures!

            • de Foucaud Paul Says:

              And then…
              A few batch of Rafale and Mirage 2000-D supported by Special Forces have vanished the rebels from Mali.
              Apart from Danger Room, the mediat silence all around the world about this war is astonishing !

            • Patrice Ayme Says:

              dear Paul: Pas de nouvelles, bonnes nouvelles! I think the French are determined to get the job done, instead of focusing on Public Relations (as was done in Iraq/Afghanistan!)
              I am pretty happy at having changed Obama’s mind about USA refueling French planes!
              See my essay on the need to refuel the French.

              See also latest:

  18. de Foucaud Paul Says:

    Excellent !
    Huntig with the bow since the seventies, I never adopt plastic vanes for all the reasons written above.
    Using right handed recurve bows from the shelf, I found that that the best fletching for hunting is obtained with left wing 5 3/4″”banana” cuting style and glued helico left on the shaft.

    • de Foucaud Paul Says:

      Forget the text below,
      it was intended for an arrow fletching Company !
      However stealthiness when hunting with the arrow and bow is a key to succeed.
      So, the modern technology of compound Bows don’t fit me.
      What is interesting in that topic : keep in mind what is the best for hunting and go simple !

      • Patrice Ayme Says:

        Paul: happy new year…and those recent bows look silly with all their wheels and cables… How much better are they really?

        • de Foucaud Paul Says:

          As a finest fighter aircraft, the broadhead , the arrow and the bow must be superb to go in efficience.
          It is for both of these two weapons systems to get efficient and simple to manage.
          Here we are in another circle where everything counts for a fighter,
          Bow mechanics with cams are looking to be as much a technology error for hunting as it is with the F 35.
          Plase correct my anglosaxon .

  19. picard578 Says:

    1) Rafale was designed primarly for air superiority and I’d say it is one of best if not the best fighter aircraft around. In fact, out of 5 primarly requirements, 3 were for air superiority, other two being weapons load and range in attack missions.
    2) While you might hear it sometimes, during Red Flag Alaska Typhoons did not have HMD. German Typhoons only started getting it a month later, and you can check photos of Typhoons with F-22s silhouettes painted on the side and pilots’ helmets clearly visible – shape of helmets does not correspond to what is required for HMD to function.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear Picard578: I did not know the Typhoon did not have Head Mounted Displays at the time. The Rafale long had it. Does it make such a huge difference? I know the USA had trouble with HMD for the F22 and F35…

      I have no doubt that the Rafale is vastly superior to the F35 “Lightning II”, a program to cost half a TRILLION dollars (500 BILLIONS). Interestingly they know intent to have the F35 carry 24 9two dozens) weapons outside… Thus the F35 won’t be just very slow, very short range big, awkward, hard to maintain and disintegrating (from non aerodynamic forms), but now it will not even be stealth at all.

      The way out would be for everybody to make the Rafale, and a more advanced version, under licence… while the USA sells its drones… Under licence too…

      • picard578 Says:

        I only pointed it out because it seems to me to be a common misconception. One of reasons may be because different countries introduce different capabilities at different times; while German Typhoons only got it a month after the exercise, I believe that RAF Typhoons had them for some time before it.

        As for F-35, it is a strike aircraft with limited self-defense capability; Rafale can easily shoot it down, and so can most fighter aircraft used in countries on the Northern hemisphere.

    • de Foucaud Paul Says:

      Dear Taylor,
      anglosaxon people are always feeling they are the best in aviation and rockets.
      On the Time beeing with tight budgets, Europe is beeing its best with the money it can afford.
      So, have a fair look about Ariane and Airbus among all other things.
      Then, why not to get excellence with the money we have without spending Tax payers$ billions wasted as seen in the USA

  20. Patrice Ayme Says:

    Dear Suschant, Paul:

    Agreed that the F35 is an easily shot down strike aircraft. It’s a flying Maginot line, except the Maginot Line was impossible to defeat, and that’s obviously not the case of the F35…

    It’s the greatest display of corruption and inefficiency in the west. Dangerous too!

    The incoming EUROPEAN Meteor has stupendous capablity, hence the scrambling to try to cut the corners, and fit it inside the F35. I wonder where this is at now…

    • de Foucaud Paul Says:

      Patrice, I am not sure about this famous stealth technology would be a rupture in fighter’combat abilites.
      Other technics, technologies and operational handling shown magnificent efficiency in real combat operations.
      F-35 is poor dream within the US are involved now with a lot of $ billions paid by tax payers, Europeans as well.
      VTOL specs are looking so contrariant inbound other variants of this fighter, is making it as a “dog”.

      • Patrice Ayme Says:

        It’s fairly clear that the F35, the most expensive program ever (short of saving private banks) is a total disaster. It’s weird it keeps on going…
        Stealth, the American way, cutting a plane like a diamond, forces unnatural angles causing all sorts of problems… I would guess from IR detection to stresses expensive to fix.
        Contrarian in what sense for the VTOL?

        • de Foucaud Paul Says:

          again it is real pleasure when reading this essay again.
          To make it short :

          – F-22 is invisible on the time beeing, why : not combat proven in every way.
          – F-35 is a mis conception aircraft since the begining.

          – So, US TACAIR will face à tragic challenge with “silver bullets” they cannot afford.

  21. pakruyPaul Kruijmer Says:

    Patrice, tu connais le Rafale comme j ai rarement vu. Es tu ingenieur en aeronautique?

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Bonjour pakruyPaul! Non, je ne suis pas ingenieur, mais je connais suffisament de physique pour enoncer l’evidence. Je m’interesse beaucoup a toutes les technologies. Le cas du F35/Lightning II et a peu pres le plus spectaculaire acces de corruption globale connu… Et toi, tu es ingenieur?

      • Paul Kruijmer Says:

        Salut Patrice, je ne suis pas ingenieur, ma formation est en finance. Mais je m interesse beaucoup a la technologie de haut niveau. Alors je m informe constament de l evolution du Rafale. Je m interesse aussi au nouveau EPR d Areva qui, m impressionne beaucoup.

        • Patrice Ayme Says:

          Salut, Paul. Malheureusement, l’EPR, quoique tres puissant et tres sur (on espere), est tres cher et tres complexe. Il a des concurrents Coreens et Americains moins chers et moins complexes (qui rafflent des marches, y compris Abu Dhabi).

          A long terme, l’energie nucleaire de fission necessite des technologies beaucoup plus avancees… (Hautes temperatures = plus d’efficacite’, theoreme de Carnot; Thorium.). Mais il n’y a pas assez de recherches…

          Je passe pas mal de temps a debiter des declarations venimeuses sur la finance et l’economie dans d’innombrables essais (je suis base’ a San Francisco/Silicon Valley). Je serai curieux de connaitre tes opinions…

          • de Foucaud Paul Says:

            Hi Patrice,
            Not a word inbound Paul’s Rafale interest about its new évolutions now planned and financed.
            Might be they are too much confidential !?

        • de Foucaud Paul Says:

          Monsieur Paul,
          Ne pas être ingénieur ne veut pas dire de ne pas posséder l'”intelligence” au sens latin du terme !
          Votre remarque au sujet du F-35 me semble très pertinente à de nombreux égards.
          Pour faire court, cet appareil d’un coût exorbitant et loupé du point de vue de sa conception ne peut que connaître encore que plus de déboires à venir pour son avenir.
          Le ” Monstre” du lobby militaro-industriel des USA est le F-35.
          Une catastrophe annoncée pour tout le TACAIR US…et le reste…
          Bien à vous.

          • Paul Kruijmer Says:

            Salut Paul! effectivement le F35 souffre. Voici un video interessant de Pierre Sprey, un francais qui a concue le F16. Il parle du F35.


            Paul K

            • Paul Kruijmer Says:

            • de Foucaud Says:

              Désolé je n’arrive pas à ouvrir cette vidéo sur mon IPhone, Comprenez simplement que mes commentaires proviennent d’un pilote de chasse et d’experimentations. Elle doit être pertinente à n’en pas douter. Yours.

              Envoyé de mon iPhone

            • de Foucaud Paul Says:

              Dear Paul,
              Personne dans ce monde “anglo saxonisé” ne peut et veut reconnaître qu’ils se sont embarqués dans un programme où les mauvais choix ont été opérés dès la conception du F-35.
              Pire : ce choix va conduire le Tacair US au desastre avec un appareil qu’ils ne pourront pas se payer et ayant de surcroit de maigres perfos aérodynamiques.
              C’est l’arnaque internationale du siècle que ce programme.
              Nous avons raison de faire évoluer le Rafale, cet avion n’a peur de rien dans la décénie à venir car déjà pleinement opérationnel à ce jour .
              Les évolutions planifiées avec les € disponibles vont encore améliorer le standard.
              Politiquement incorrect :
              US & UK among all other are dreaming about such an aircraft.
              Paul !

            • de Foucaud Paul Says:

              Excellent !
              As a former fighter pilot and engendrer all along m’y active Life. I fully agree the terme of this interview.

            • de Foucaud Paul Says:

              Cher Patrice,
              Je n’ai pas trouvé “la petite prière” pour communiquer correctement en langue anglaise sur votre site !
              Désolé pour les fautes que le correcteur français m’impose.
              Un vrai parcours du combattant alors
              Bien à vous.

  22. de Foucaud Paul Says:

    Patrice connaît beaucoup de choses sur le Rafale mais pas tout…et de loin cela.

  23. Patrice Ayme Says:

    chers Paul & Paul:Paul a raison, je ne connais pas tout! Loin de la! Je ne demande qu’a apprendre davantage au sujet du rafale, F16, etc…
    Je n’ai pas vu le link pour cette video du concepteur du F16.

    L’histoire du F35 versus Rafale est interessant en plusieurs dimensions, y compris economiques, et meme… raciste?

    Regarder aussi l’histoire du Viggen, avec la Suisse, et maintenant certains parlent au USA d’acheter des Viggens… Pour l’entrainement…

    Ce sont toutes des histoires non seulement de defense, mais de complexes militaro-industriels…

    • de Foucaud Paul Says:

      Cher Patrice,
      il n,est pas question du viggen “classe Mirage III” dont la Suisse s’est enquerri dans le passé, mais celui du Grippen NG à ce jour dont la version ne peut être qualifiée opérationnelle pas avant 10 années au mieux à partir de ce jour.
      Pendant ce temps là le Rafale améliore ses capacités opérationnelles avec notre maigre budget disponibes en France à ce jour pour topics Defence.

      • Patrice Ayme Says:

        Pardon Paul! J’ai confondu un instant le Viggen et le plus recent “Grippen”… Le Grippen NG doit avoir une aile differente… un avantage du Rafale relativement disons aux enormes Trust Vectoring F22 and Sukkoi et une taille plus faible (intrinsequement difficile a detecter)…
        Ce qui est amusant c’est que la Suisse et la Suede veulent le Grippen NG pour la defense, et les USA pour…l’entrainement (qu’ils disent!) Tout sauf le Rafale!

        • de Foucaud Paul Says:

          Merci de votre réponse.
          Etait-ce un test pour tester ma vigilance envers un domaine qui m’est cher ?
          Les suédois et les suisses ne sont ils pas que citoyens de contrées neutres ?

          • Patrice Ayme Says:

            The Treaty of Lisbon strengthens the solidarity of the Member States in dealing with external threats by introducing a mutual defence clause (Article 42(7) of the Treaty on European Union (TEU)). This clause provides that if a Member State is the victim of armed aggression on its territory, the other Member States shall have towards it an obligation of aid and assistance by all the means in their power, in accordance with Article 51 of the United Nations Charter on self-defence.

            This obligation of mutual defence is binding on all Member States.

            So Sweden can’t trade big time with Hitler anymore.
            And Suisse better shut up and obey (and actually collaborated during the Libyan war, be it only by authorizing military overflights).

            • de Foucaud Paul Says:

              La défense européenne n’existe pas à ce jour !
              Le NATO ou l’OTAN n’est qu’une entreprise commerciale pour syphonner les budgets de défense européens.
              Le mandat opérationnel de cette entreprise est de plus en plus flou et n’apparaît il pas comme révélant ainsi la ploutocratie US ?
              Une fois exclue la “Perfide Albion” pour un temps, en Europe du Nord, la vraie unité de forces possibles c’est de mon point de vue avec la Russie qu’il faille la construire ;
              pas avec les Verts qui gangrènent idéologiquement toute décision d’envergure.
              Notre Europe qui représente un potentiel de forces énorme est divisé par les baronnies des États qui la constitue.
              So what :
              Poutine a raison.

            • Patrice Ayme Says:

              Chers Paul: Putin fait parti de ma liste des gens a surveiller etroitement.

              Je suis moi meme hyper ecologiste, mais les verdatres m’exasperent aussi… Quant a beaucoup d’europeens ils sont absolument lamentables… Effectivement. Et tres anti-Francais. Et cela cache’ sous du laius dde “gauche”, vive les Roms, a bas je foie gras!

              Ils vont se retrouver avec Marine Lepen, on va bien rigoler (ils seront les premiers a saluer!).

              L’histoire du F35 montre qu’effectivement une grande partie du budget defense, c’est de la corruption Made in USA pure… Cet avion est completement inutile et ridicule. Sauf pour les plutocrates militaires USA….

              Voir mes articles plus recents, j’en prepare un, aujourd’hui, sur Yellen…

  24. Patrice Ayme Says:

    Excellent site: Rafale vs F-22 BFM! I do not understand why the USA does not forget about the F22, the F35 (although the Marine version is clearly without competition at this point, so could be retained?), and just build a new version of the Rafale under license. The USA could concentrate on its drone strength, and sell that to the Europeans in exchange for the Rafale/Meteor system.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      picard578 December 29, 2013 at 7:02 am
      It could, but as was pointed out by other people before, F-35 is not a weapon system programme. It is a massive corporate welfare project.

      • marauder Says:

        France could have engaged in a similar program but elected not to. The result is that the F-35 continues to win export competitions whereas Rafale… Eagerly awaiting your contorted explanation as to why Rafale lost in Brazil.

        • Patrice Ayme Says:

          Dear Marauder: “France could have engaged in a similar program but elected not to”. What are you alluding to?
          Well, the Gripen cost a fraction of the cost of a Rafale, and Brazil did not need an air superiority fighter to fight the ultimate war. It’s just a question of keeping pirates out of the oil fields, off shore…

          As she bought just a handle, Roussef, who has huge problems, moral and financial, with her anti-plutocratic youth, was not going to buy 5 Rafales for all of Brazil. Anyway, that super Gripen exists only on paper. It has a new wing, etc. Switzerland may pull out, someday, after France has declared fiscal war, and Bern has surrendered to the Franco-Germano-American invasion, things may well change. especially if the Swiss Air Force rebels, and, or, more serious defense needs arise.

          I just think a super Rafale, partly financed by the USA would be a good deal for all.

          How is that for convoluted?
          Happy Marauding in 2014!

          • marauder Says:

            The industrial workshare opportunities offered by Gripen and F-35 are a significant contributor to their export success. There are credible, funded, development roadmaps in place for both aircraft lines with production and support extending far into the future. Additionally, both governments are signaling strong support for the fighter lines.

            Rafale might have been constituted along similar lines but being an older design doesn’t offer the same opportunities.

            • Patrice Ayme Says:

              Older design than Gripen? A USA-involved Rafale would be a new design, just like the proposed new Gripen. As far as I can see, the new Gripen proposed to Switzerland is just too good to be true: Sweden takes all the risks.
              This being said, it makes sense for smaller militaro-industrial complexes to unite. So Sweden-Switzerland-Brazil unite. They don’t have the bicephalic existential threat that India has.
              I also think Dassault does not like to share.
              Finally there is a tech transfer/under license accord with India for the Rafale.

            • marauder Says:

              The Gripen NG is a pretty safe derivative design all things considered and well within Saab & Co’s ability to execute.

              Which set of requirements would a USA-involved Rafale satisfy?

              Doesn’t your “Dassault does not like to share” remark strongly militate against any such (highly implausible) collaboration?

            • Patrice Ayme Says:

              Dassault does not like to share… With incompetents (Like Airbus for military planes). Of course some USA subcontractors (say Spirit Aerospace which Airbus uses heavily) are first class.
              There is a whole list of improvements to the Rafale that Dassault has proposed. It would just be a question of Dassault acting like a USA military aerospace company, getting help from subcontractors and setting up a USA factory, as Airbus is doing, following BMW…

  25. Patrice Ayme Says:

    On Swiss super Gripen decision: The basic story is that the Swiss Air Force wanted the Rafale. However the right wing of the Swiss government is clearly at war with France about taxes (France wants to tax its escaped plutocrats claiming financial residence in Switzerland under special contracts while enjoying the high life somewhere else, and France wants to tax the 2.5% of the Swiss population who live in France, while working in Switzerland, and also escape French taxation). Evidence is that France is going to use force, so little Switzerland would rather dream of other things.

  26. HGR Says:


    January 3, 2014 at 4:44 pm

    Patrice, the French has done this before. They did it to Monaco.

    The Swiss have a dependence on foreign capital that they feed by maintaining banking secrecy and non-cooperation with other countries. While on a small scale this behavior is often ignored there are tipping points. At the end of the day the Swiss will loose with out any need to threaten war or any violence… the country where the income producing assets are residence at holds all the aces in this sort of squabbles and in this case it is France who will win.

    We live at a time of shrinking military budgets and with out a threat to a country’s existence hanging around their neck the choices of weapons are very often what can do the job for the least amount of money.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      HGR: All what you said is entirely correct on all points.
      The only thing I can add is that the Swiss themselves are perfectly aware of all this. Just the “National” (Swiss Parliament) is infuriated, and common people in Switzerland are actually amused… Because they side with the French Republic! “Votation” after votation are proposing new laws to crack down on plutocrats. The next “votation”, going in the sense of France, is in a few weeks, or months.

      The Swiss president actually signed the Treaty that later the “National” threw out in rage. She was made to wait nearly an hour in the antechamber of Moscovici, the French finance minister… for the signing of the acts of surrender. Next of course is going to be Germany, who will follow in goose step the French lead (how things change…)

  27. Patrice Ayme Says:


    January 4, 2014 at 3:09 am

    It’s politics ….

    But yeah, political considerations seem to often take precedent over the quality of each fighter. When you buy a fighter, you’re not just buying a fighter, you are buying the goodwill of the vendor nation and perhaps the consternation of the nations that lose the bid.

    I suppose in this case, financial considerations did as well.

    • de Foucaud Paul Says:

      Cher Patrice,
      Happy new year again !
      If I am able to understand the choice of a fighter for constraint budget topics, what is astonishing me is the fact that medium choice is involving a country for 50 years long around.
      – What if the threat is then changing in front of more capable opponent before 2050 + ?
      – what if US technology was blocked for any good reason ?
      Now I agree
      your idea to codevelop a super Rafale beside the USA.
      That should be far less expensive that the costly and useless F-35 in every air operations.

  28. HGR Says:

    Patrice, On the Chamberlain and Churchill comment I will just say that Chamberlain was an air force enthusiast and backed it with budget increases. Biggest problem Britain faced in the late 1930 was that it lacked the financial means to match the threats that where looming… Britain eventually went broke fighting the war and had to beg the USA for help. Chamberlain negotiations where an attempt to buy time and divide his enemies… which did not work.

    The F-35 debacle is reduced to price. If this aircraft goes into production and can be built for say $70 million or so it will be a success.

    Pilots that vouch for for the F-35 say that dog-fighting one-on-one is misleading. That when many aircrafts are present and two of them merge for a dog fight they are usually hit by someone else that is around them that they can’t even see because they are concentrating on the dog-fight. That this sort of “sniping” (their word) is what is really dangerous and that the F-35 will do better in that environment than the others.

    Also, that the aircraft’s performance numbers are misleadingly low because it carries so much weight of fuel. That if you make the comparison without accounting for this as well as the degradation in performance that its rivals suffer from carrying external tanks and ordinance you are comparing apples to oranges.

    The fuel issue is very interesting because you can load the aircraft with less fuel when using it in a combat air patrol role and enjoy the benefit of more thrust to weight, etc. or loading it with more fuel when using it in the strike mode and enjoying the advantage of range. All of this with internal weapons means it is stealthy and suffers no penalty like the others that carry everything in hard points.

    So this is not an easy question to answer.

    By the way… I wish the F-35B could solve all the problems the Marines have. Not even close… many problems.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear HGR: When FDR decided to embark on an astounding 24 carrier program in 1933, he did not have the money, either. Moreover, FDR devalued the dollar by 33% or so (while closing all the banks, etc.). But we use fiat money, anyway. Thus FDR said: “Let it be!” And ordered the carriers built. A nice touch, as 7 of the 8 carriers of 1941 were soon at the bottom of the sea (and were smoothly replaced by the Essex class: thus the Lexington scuttled at the Coral Sea, was soon replaced by a new flag ship, the Essex class Lexington… Now carriers are apparently named for unpopular, never elected “presidents”).

      Great Britain was managed differently from FDR’s USA. More like a poodle. So when the USA decided to ruin Britain by requiring payment of a war debt, the treacherous British leaders obeyed with alacrity. True, Churchill was Anglo-American… The proper course would have been to tell Washington to go cook itself an egg.

      The F35 is a perpetually swollen balloon in empty cavities inside that tries to play fighter blimp. A plane like the Rafale would have dumped all its tanks and long range missiles, before shooting holes in those aggressive blimps, floating over common sense like the proverbial one million dollar Air Force toilet seat…

      And I did not talk about the F35′s Infra Red signature, which is bigger, the bigger the blimp, especially if supersonic, and, in any case, as stealthy as the sinking sun…

      • marauder Says:

        The US lost five fleet carriers in WWII total. I don’t know where you are getting seven. Also, where did you read about a *24* carrier program launched in 1933!?! There was still a huge debate within naval circles about carrier doctrine so the notion that the US would even consider ordering double digit carriers while the rest of the fleet was overage is astonishing.

  29. Patrice Ayme Says:

    “Rafale is too large for Swiss aircraft shelters, so indirect costs of buying it might well have been as great as direct procurement costs.”
    Is not Rafale more compact than the F18?

  30. Patrice Ayme Says:

    @ HGR: The Rafale was built to be as compact as possible, to reduce its visual and IR signatures, and augment its maneuverability. Its tall stabilizer is ornamented with one of its Active Stealth Spectre antennas (it has them all around, including on the Canards).

    That Swiss choice of the Gripen NG was ridiculous, but I’m not sure it’s definitive. Dassault, BTW, has changed tac, and has now a plan to launch Swiss satellites…

    • marauder Says:

      It’s quite a sensible option if you actually read the Swiss evaluation. The baseline Gripen fell down on endurance and sensors both of which are being substantially upgraded in the NG version.

      Further, if you look at the Swiss evaluation, the Gripen, Rafale and Eurofighter were all inferior to the F/A-18D in within-visual-range combat i.e. classic dogfighting. Under those conditions (the most likely combat scenario for Swiss fighters) why would you spend substantially more on Rafale when a Gripen NG can close the gap while offering better sensors, endurance as well as lower operating costs than the F/A-18D?

      • de Foucaud Paul Says:

        Absolutely false.
        Only the Grippen was inferior to the Absolutely false.
        Only the Grippen was inferior to the FA-18 C/D during the Switzerland air Armasuiss evaluation !
        Even the NG will stay far behind the Rafale
        Even the NG will stay far behind the Rafale.
        Please go to internet and have a look to “Switzerland Armasuiss Rafale Evaluation.

      • de Foucaud Paul Says:

        With corrections on my last comment :

        ” Absolutely false.
        Only the Grippen was inferior to the F/A-18 C/D during the Suidzerland air Armasuiss evaluation !
        Even the NG will stay far behind the Rafale.

        Please go to internet and have a look to “Suidzerland Armasuiss Rafale Evaluation.”

      • Patrice Ayme Says:

        Dear Marauder: What you say is just plain incredible. You are better than a cup of coffee!

        Besides numbers, I have seen Rafales and F18s in air shows, and the Rafale, is way, way more capable.

        The Swiss Air Force also concluded that the Rafale was the best plane. It’s only (some) Swiss politicians who insist to go with the Gripen NG, a plane that does not exist, but that allows the Swiss to participate, risk free.

        Better sensors? Gripen NG is going to have better than Thales’ own Spectre, and will find enough room in its tiny pointed nose for a phase array radar (as Rafale does)?
        I remind you that Gripen has just one engine, it carries much less goodies than the bi-engine Rafale…

        • de Foucaud Paul Says:

          I fully agree with your answer inbound Marauder.
          Misinformation about Rafale abilities is astonishing inbound to preserve lobbying and political purpose.
          This combat proven aircraft tells modern fighters history.
          Many others are paper projects since.
          Good luck Marauder with your prefered choice in real combat operations with a paper Grippen NG.

        • de Foucaud Paul Says:

          All too much obvious!
          Sell dreams and go helpless and useless in air ops.
          What a pitty for our airmen.
          I agree with you about the F-35 scandal.

          • Patrice Ayme Says:

            The Pentagon is forgetting a bit what happened to the French Air Force in 1940. There were enough modern planes, but not enough were in northern France (rather than Syria and the like), and not enough were… armed. Thus, unbelievably, about only 50% of the French AF was engaged, and, within days, the army was routed. Then the French AF argued that its security on the airfields could not be insured… by the army en deroute, so a cease-fire was best…

            Thus a likely victory turned into a strange defeat. The F35 stupidity invites the same sort of “accident”. The F35 is, intrinsically, unarmed, or sub-armed…

            • de Foucaud Paul Says:

              Since then French fighter pilots use to say for a long time : what we need is a fast, agile, and well weaponised aircraft.
              Nowadays they just get it with the Rafale.
              They have shown in recent combat air ops how these simple principles were so efficient.
              The F-35 is every thing but that.
              Good luck for it in the skies.

            • marauder Says:

              How is the situation even remotely comparable to the Western Front in 1940? Would better armed aircraft have made any difference? No. The French were too deficient in early warning capability, Anti-aircraft artillery, sortie-rate generation, battlefield interdiction and Close-air-support.

              An aircraft type with all the speed, agility and weaponry in the world won’t have much impact under those conditions.

            • Patrice Ayme Says:

              Dear Marauder: Let me answer that in another comment, to avoid nestling. The F35 is a flying Maginot line, except the Maginot line worked, as intended.

        • marauder Says:

          I did read the Swiss evaluation and it says that “the F/A-18 has better capabilities in the VWR Engagement. This is due to the maturity of the HMD and AIM-9X integration into the F/A-18 over the NFA candidates.”

          I have no doubt that the Rafale is more capable than the Gripen NG but at huge cost. Recall, the Swiss competition is to replace the F-5 which was and is a very cheap fighter to own and operate. Only one of the competitors can claim to be cheap to own and operate and it’s not Rafale.

          The Gripen NG upgrades are straightforward (more so than the Super Hornet upgrades in fact) and will produce a very capable aircraft.

  31. Patrice Ayme Says:

    Cher Paul: En effet, ce sont la les meilleurs principes du combat aeriens. But they will tell you the plane cannot be seen…. something I strongly doubt for anyone with eyes or Infra Red…

    • de Foucaud Paul Says:

      Cher Patrice,
      La tactique de l’USAF en air air : “nothing but the wall” !
      Wall : une patrouille simple (4 avions) ou lourde (2*4) volant de front en moyenne altitude)
      En combat aérien, un adversaire prédictible est toujours contourné et détruit.
      Le concept stealth du F-22 et du F-35 est issu de cette tactique.
      Cela ne peut marcher qu’en BVR EM au même niveau de vol si en face c’est la même qui s’applique.
      Là ou les choses se compliquent :
      – dans le domaine EM, SPECTRA perturbe les émissions radar adverses,
      – dans le domaine IIR, avec IRST couplé au MICA IIR lui aussi BVR cela complique encore les choses envers celui qui n’est que stealth en EM notamment dès que les niveau de vol des opposants sont différents.
      Les US n’ont pas encore integré, à l’instar des russes, le concept BVR IIR avec tout ce qui va avec.
      Sans contremesures IIR et EM (à part le stealth) le F-35 est tout nu.
      Cet entêtement insensé des US envers ce programme phare ne me lasse pas de m’étonner.

      • Patrice Ayme Says:

        F35 = Corporate welfare program. The cheaper made, the highest billed.
        Already the F117 and the B2 felt worthless to me (against serious opponents). A F117 was shot down by the Serbs, using a sensitive Czech radar system…

        Quelle est la difference entre IR et IIR?

        “Les US n’ont pas encore integré, à l’instar des russes, le concept BVR IIR avec tout ce qui va avec” Cela veut-il dire qu’ils sont tous les deux aussi nuls, avec leur enormes avions chauffes a blanc?

        • de Foucaud Paul Says:

          Ok avec vos commentaires !

          IR = Infra Rouge ou Infra Red,
          IIR = Imagerie IR. ; elle peut être opérée simultanément dans 2 fréquences (chaude et froide)
          Ainsi par conception un capteur IIR est protégé contre les leurres IR car étant capable de faire le distinguo entre la peau de l’avion et un leurre ; d’où l’avènement de nouveaux senseurs DIRCM capables d’éblouir les IIR au laser.
          Face au Rafale, une utilisation de leurres IR en préventif peut conduire à une détection très lointaine d’un opposant à très grande distance en ciel clair.
          Ceci est une des raisons pour lesquelles le système d’armes Rafale / OSF / MICA IIR est un véritable serpent.
          De plus. L’utilisation conjointe d’un MICA EM oblige l’opposant à se positionner dans l’entaille Doppler de l’AD EM ce qui ouvre la distance d’accrochage de l’AD IIR en BVR.
          Ceci explique en grande partie pourquoi un tel système d’armes n’a pas besoin d’un viseur de casque car les capacités manœuvrières combinées de l’avion, du missile ainsi que l’emploi de la L16 permettent de répondre au besoin ops.
          And so on…

          • Paul Pieter Kruijmer Says:

            Maintenant je sais ce que c est un IIR. Merci Paul!

          • Paul Pieter Kruijmer Says:

            Paul, j ai une question pour vous. J ai lu que le Python 5 etait propablement le meilleur missile ai-air du monde a moins de 30kms, qu en pensez-vous par rapport au MICA?

            • de Foucaud Paul Says:

              Cher Paul,
              ne pas oublier une chose fondamentale à savoir :
              MICA = Missile d’Interception, de Combat et d’Autodéfense.
              Dés sa conception ce missile a été destiné à rationaliser la panoplie des missiles existants, à savoir missiles BVR semi-actifs type Super 530 F et D ( comme Doppler) et les missiles de combat Magic 1 et 2.
              Un très audacieux challenge !
              Ceci explique le choix dès le départ d’une conception modulaire s’agissant des Autodirecteurs (AD) EM et IIR.
              Cette formule contrainte par :
              – une grande capacité d’emport de missiles (potentiellement 10 sous un Rafale et dont nous nous sommes ensuite contentés de 4 ou 6 ) et aussi de 4 sous Mirage 2000-5 en conservant 2 Magic 2 sous points externes de voilure.
              De ce concept unique au monde et parfaitement au point à ce jour avec celle des conduites de tir adaptées notamment sur Rafale offre le grand bénéfice de ne pas avoir de “trou” en portée d’engagement air-air de la très courte portée VVR et la moyenne portée BVR comme constaté par les avions US au cours de la première guerre du Golfe ( tir d’un Sparrow BVR à trop courte portée ou d’un Sidewinder AIM 9 à trop longue portée)
              Étant très en retard en air-sol en regard de cette rationalisation entre une floppée d’armements tous spécifiques en emploi et en efficacité, les mêmes principes ont donné naissance à l’AASM dont nous avons mesuré l’efficacité dans les conflits récents.
              Le grand plus de cette rationalisation :
              – économies d’échelle en termes de coûts d’intégration et ouvertures de domaine en vol,
              – capacités d’améliorations techniques des armements de part la modularité,
              – gestion du stock d’armes, etc.

              Cette logique confère ainsi naturellement au Rafale le pseudo d'”omnirole”.
              Pour ma part je reste encore sceptique sur la pertinence du missile METEOR en emploi ops :
              – en combat AA plutôt un repoussoir,
              – à voir pour l’inter d’assets hautement protégés comme les tanquers ou AWACS.

              Pour finir, ce tel potentiel ops du système d’armes du Rafale, unique au monde, ne cesse d’agacer les anglo-saxons.
              Le Spitfire du 21 éme siecle ?

            • Patrice Ayme Says:

              Qu’est-il arrive’ lors de la premiere guerre du Golfe aux avions US?
              Il y a t-il une autre version du Rafale en route (4?).
              Avec 10 missiles sous les ailes, n’est-il pas possible de descendre n’importe quoi?
              Bien sur le Rafale agace, car cela risque de saboter le F35…

            • de Foucaud Paul Says:

              Le Python 5 reste un missile de combat IR qui ne peut être tiré qu’AD accroché avant tir comme les AA 11 Russes, AIM 9 X, ASRAM etc.
              Ils n’ont pas encore la capacité BVR à l’instar du MICA IIR qui porte beaucoup plus loin que ses concurents
              L’avantage du MICA IIR réside dans le fait qu’il peut être tiré AD non accroché avant tir grace à sa centrale inertielle et le support de la conduite de tir des capteurs OSF, radar et L16.
              Ainsi aux EAU sous Mirage 2000-9 il peut aussi être utilisé sous éjecteurs ventral. Redoutable par beau temps car c’est souvent le cas dans ce pays !
              Aucun missile de combat à part le MICA ne peut être employé sous éjecteurs, un rail est nécessaire à tous les autres missiles de combat pour être tirés.
              La souplesse d’emploi et l’empreinte logistique résultant de tout ceci n’est alors qu’évidence.
              Cela dérange évidemment !
              Nous avons en air-sol appliqué la même logique avec l’AASM et les succès qu’on lui connaît désormais.
              Ainsi l’enveloppe financière consentie récemment pour améliorer le Rafale est parfaitement justifiée de par les économies d’échelle acquises par ailleurs de part la rationalisation de tout ceci au niveau de la conception.
              Tout ceci explique cela, entre autres et DA a raison de clamer que le Système d’armes Rafale “omnirole” est le meilleur au monde pour le temps de sa carrière opérationnelle.
              Cela dérange …

    • Paul Pieter Kruijmer Says:

      En plus du IRST, le Rafale a un OSF (optronique secteur frontal) qui permet de prendre des photos jusqu a une distance de 60kms. Ca j ai lu dans le magazine Flight Global.

  32. Patrice Ayme Says:

    The French Air Force was poised to recover air superiority in mid-June 1940. However the army was in a rout, and the Air Force said it could not operate in a situation where airfields safety could not be insured.

    The best French planes were roughly equivalent to the best German fighters. However, because of the fear of Communist sabotage (Stalin was allied to Hitler), the best planes were mostly unarmed in May 1940.

    Only 50% of French planes were in France. Others were all the way to Indochina (confronting imperial Japan).

    The French and Brits just had put elite German divisions on the run in northern Norway, after repeated sea-air-land operations.

    The end result, in any case, is that, within 5 months, from May 10 to September 10, 1940, the Luftwaffe had been shattered and lost the war (after losing thousands of planes and many of its best pilots).

    • marauder Says:

      Even with air superiority, there’s little evidence to suggest that the French Air Force had the right equipment , training, infrastructure, doctrine and coordination with the Army to conduct effective battlefield interdiction or close air support. Strategic bombing was not likely to yield meaningful results at that stage either.

      Again, it wasn’t really a failure of aircraft types or aircraft performance. So I can’t see any connection to the F-35.

      • de Foucaud Paul Says:

        Totally uncorrect:
        You will be unable to explain then the huge succes gained by the FAF in air ops over Lybia and Mali without close links with ISR and SOF.

        • marauder Says:

          My comments were about the French Air Force in 1940 and that its failure was not due to aircraft that suffered from inadequate agility, weaponization and speed. On the contrary, the French Air Force had excellent aircraft.

          Did France need Rafale to achieve the huge successes in Libya or Mali? No.

          • Paul Pieter Kruijmer Says:

            Well Marauder! maybe not in Mali, but certainly in Libya. The Rafale was the first in Libya without aid from AWAC s and SEAD. It has never happen before, everybody was amazed.

          • Patrice Ayme Says:

            Marauder: Rafales, protecting Mirage bombers, were used to suppress air defenses next to Benghazi before the US Air Force had fired its volleys of missiles.

            What you say about the FAF in 1940 is correct. As I said, the problems is that too few of the best planes had their guns on, because as Stalin was allied with Hitler, it was feared that (some) workers would, on the order of Moscow, somehow mishandle the guns, or create strife with them. Also too many French planes were far overseas.

      • Paul Pieter Kruijmer Says:

        Marauder, you should not compare the f35 to the Rafale. The F35 is not ready, Maybe in 2018. In 2018 the Rafale will be upgraded to F4. Basically, thr Rafale will Always have an edge over the F35.

        • marauder Says:

          Patrick was arguing for some connection between the state of the French Air Force in 1940 and the F-35. Paul then agreed stating that as a result the French Air Force have desired a “fast, agile, and well weaponised aircraft.” I fail to see the connection given that the French Air Force had excellent aircraft in decent numbers.

          • Paul Pieter Kruijmer Says:

            Ok ja, 1940 is an other story.

          • de Foucaud Paul Says:

            At the begining the Rafale was intended to replace six existing fighters in the French inventory coping with every mission :
            – Air Force :
            – Mirage F1 C/B, CR, CT,
            – Mirage 2000 C, D, N
            – Jaguar A/B
            – Navy :
            – Crusader,
            – Étendard 4
            – Super Étendard.
            Today this is done, qualfied and combat proven.
            One Rafale today is better than 6 Mirage 2000 in every mission to perform the same job.
            With the new standard coming in, it will be far better aigain with that ratio.

          • de Foucaud Paul Says:

            What is a decent number ?
            Look at efficient ops capabilities first.
            Then the stalling and delaying export contracts are a must for the French Air Force inbound to have the good numbers of fighters and rationalising its wings.
            Look around, this is not the case elsewhere a part the US Navy happy with the F-35 delays and able to fulfill its F-18 fleet with the best standard.

  33. HGR Says:


    January 7, 2014 at 4:48 pm

    picard & Patrice,

    This link has a discussion about Canada’s choices which touch many subjects including stealth. Other than a typo where Iraq should have been mentioned instead of Syria it seems very accurate. It also states that after 2020 the F-35 will be bargain priced compared to the alternatives and questions if Rafale will be up-graded as needed given its low numbers.

    But to me the discussion about stealth was the most interesting one.

    • picard578 Says:

      January 7, 2014 at 5:51 pm
      Yes, it’s quite good.

      [The Rafale is smaller than the F18] though F-18 has foldable wings. But shelters were made for the F-5, and I believe that it is F-5 which is being replaced by Gripen.

      • Patrice Ayme Says:

        Picard: I did not suspect that Switzerland operated aircraft carriers on Lac Leman. Interestingly, the Marine Rafale does not seem to have folding wings, due to its lifting body, more compact size…

      • de Foucaud Paul Says:

        For sure the Gripen is better than the F-5.
        The comparission then stops there.
        The awfull choice is to have an efficient fighter or no for 40 years long the best for a long time is critical in front of operational value.
        Politic leaders d’ont know anything about it.
        That’s it.

        • Patrice Ayme Says:

          Well, the people who opt for the Gripen generally have gripes with France. The Swiss right wingers hate the push of France against plutocracy and tax evasion. That’s why they went against the choice of Swiss military. Which was the Rafale, of course.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Patrice Ayme

      January 10, 2014 at 3:08 pm

      HGR: Thanks for the Canadian Report. I saw no typo. Syria was indeed attacked by Israel (and still is, without losses). It’s pretty clear that F35 style stealth will perfectly not work. Computing power can be expected to augment relentlessly in the next few years (CPU plants costing on the order of 20 billion using lithography are planned). MICA style IR missiles will pick the slow F35 out of the sky like juicy plums. At least the Rafale and Eurofighter can flee, thanks to superior speed…

      Stealth has a long history, and EM stealth was already used in WWII. IR stealth does not exist, and can’t be expected to do so, except by flying blimps. Wait…

      • de Foucaud Paul Says:

        Until now there is no comparable AA missile in the world to cope with the MICA concept multirole multitarget missile (ie : BVR & VVR, EM and IIR).
        Russians had also good modular concept within the BVR domain with the AA 10 ( EM, IR and might be anti-radiation).
        Then today they should also have combat IR missile for short range purpose with the very interesting thrust vectored AA 11 IR.
        They also have a gun to finish the job when everything fails.
        What about the “stealthy” F-35 :
        No short range VVR missile, no internal gun for C&B variants ; just a max of 4 EM BVR missiles…possibly jammed by SPECTRA.
        As it F-35 dont need IR and EM CCM by principle they are looking poor to survive then.
        Stealth EM again stealth EM = short range engagement.
        Then IR Red is a must.

  34. Chris Says:

    January 10, 2014 at 4:16 pm

    It’s not going to stop the establishment though from procuring the F-35 more. It’s alarming how broken procurement here is in Canada. Most politicians are not going to question the usefulness of stealth. Rafale seems like the best choice among the current generation of fighters for Canada, although it’s not compatible with existing munitions. Hopefully our current government loses the next election.

    I suspect that computing power may be reaching a barrier in the next 10 years due to simple laws of physics – we’re starting to reach a point where transistors are on an atomic scale. Below 5nm, it’ll be interesting to see if heat and leakage can still be combatted, or if it’s economical to do so. Barring another invention that can lead to new advances in computing power, we could be reaching a cap.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Patrice Aymé
      January 10, 2014 at 4:55 pm

      Chris: Upper reaches of government in Canada are immensely corrupt. Mafia money is even been recycled, to Italy’s anger. I can’t wait until Harper goes. His ecological policies are a threat to the planet.

      Rafale uses heavily MICA, a BVR IR missile, in connection with IIR. In other words, a F22/F35 BVR killer. So of course that would have to be stocked on. Rafale can carry TEN of these missiles (and still fly supersonic cruise with them attached!)

      Now for the physics: I’m optimistic. Intel is gearing up towards 14 nanometers (they are at 22). For reasons not well understood (at least by me), Quantum effects are limited (although they are major with much larger MEM). You could say that we cannot go below one nanometer. Yet, there are many avenues out, and they are been explored. An obvious one is to build three dimensional circuits. Imagine… Further down the line, but already being developed: self assembling circuits and various Quantum computation strategies (Boson sampling, etc.)

      In any case, there is plenty of improvements immediately ahead, that will make the F22/35 completely obsolete in 5 years, if not so already.

      Combat BVR between a single ten MICA equipped Rafale and a couple of F22s is not in doubt.

      Thus this case of large scale corruption known as the F35, is most troublesome. For the entire West.

      • de Foucaud Paul Says:

        Yes !!!

      • de Foucaud Paul Says:

        Cher Patrice,
        félicitations pour le succès et la richesse induite par les discussions sur ce sujet.
        Pour faire un grand raccourci : les gens ne savent pas de quoi ils parlent car trop confinés dans leurs dogmatismes.

        N’ayant pas les moyens financiers de s’offrir ce luxe, nous décoiffons le total par l’innovation … Et cela dérange ainsi bien évidemment le reste du monde.

        Un truc envers lequel nous sommes maladroits : vendre ce génie sans la pointure commerciale et politique qui va de pair par ce que nous ne sommes pas formatés pour (cela nous E ….)

  35. Chris Says:

    “Chris: Upper reaches of government in Canada are immensely corrupt. Mafia money is even been recycled, to Italy’s anger. I can’t wait until Harper goes. His ecological policies are a threat to the planet.”

    Yeah, as a Canadian, I really want Harper elected out of office. He’s an embarrassment.

    Increasingly, I feel like Western society is dominated by a one-party state, the neo-liberal party.

    “Now for the physics”

    There is one issue though. You cannot make transistors smaller than an atom. It’s going to level off, eventually unless something new gets discovered. For example, the jump between 32 nm to 22 nm Tri-Gate led to comparatively lower yields than say, the jump from 130 to 90 or 90 to 65 did.

    Either way though, it’s enough that radar stealth is of limited usage. Modern IR sensors can easily find it. Officially the justification is that the variants of the Su-27 family are the justification for the purchase of these weapons. In practice, all Su-27 variants are armed with IRST and the latest one, OLS-50M QWIP will be able to find it.

    “Thus this case of large scale corruption known as the F35, is most troublesome. For the entire West.”

    I’m more interested right now as to how so many Western governments ended up choosing the F-35 JSF without a competitive tendering process. There’s something we don’t know right now, something that happened behind closed doors beyond the usual politics. I would hesitate to guess that some money changed hands throughout many nations.

    Now though, economic realities are beginning to force many to question the decisions made. Likewise, the fact that the F-35 is not the fighter that it was promised to be is another issue.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Patrice Ayme

      January 10, 2014 at 6:37 pm

      Yes Chris, we entirely agree. Another case of no public debate was Obamacare. It was all done behind closed doors. Why? A hint: one of the men put in charge by Obama to provide health care to all Americans, had a salary of more than 100 million last year. That’s just a salary, not what the owners, above, make. The upper reaches of the US government (I know Obama, so I saw the inside stuff), is all about incredible wealth and power.

      Calling that Party which governs us the “liberal Party” is too flattering. It has nothing to do with liberty, more to do with slavery and monopoly. So I call it by its true name, the plutocratic party.

  36. HGR Says:


    January 10, 2014 at 5:20 pm
    “Upper reaches of government in Canada are immensely corrupt.” – It is surprising to me for how little you can purchase a USA congressman or Senator. Bribing has been legalized in the form of political contributions and junkets by lobbyist but sometimes the politicos get greedier, careless or arrogant which ever way you prefer and they end up in jail… but those are just a fraction of the whole body of politicians that is sold here in the USA for a remarkably low price.

    The USA has comparable IR technology and getting better. The F-35 load in an non-stealth environment is higher than that of an F-16. As a matter of fact the F-35′s performance at 50% fuel looks a lot like the F-16′s. Is not that bad.

    And how many Rafale will survive the radar guided defenses? I mean, that statement you made to Chris takes for granted that he does not have to worry about that and that this will take place in a space that is sanitazed. The USA just thinks that it should worry about radar.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Patrice Ayme
      At Benghazi, Qaddafi launched his tank army fully surrounded by country wide and local, mobile missile batteries, as he expected strikes from the French.

      Rafale is equipped both by passive and active stealth (SPECTRA). SPECTRA, made by Thales (also provider of electronics for the Typhoon Eurofighter, and the Queen Elizabeth class carriers) completely surrounds Rafale, and can completely neutralize radar emission with a precision of less than one degree. If radar is scrambled, radar does not work, as the Israeli Air Force continually demonstrates, just ask aghast Assad, who can see Israeli jets bomb in impunity from his palace.

      So, at Benghazi, the Rafales provided cover against missiles, 12 hours before the USA cruise missile and B2 attack runs against Qaddafi’s missile defenses. The Rafales protected Mirages below. It worked splendidly: Qaddafi’s armor got shattered in the approaches and suburbs of Benghazi, and the French announced to the peace conference in Paris that bombing had started, and Benghazi was saved.

      Active stealth becomes more performing, the more performing the electronics. Not so with passive stealth. That, BTW. is why, very large planes such as the F22 and enormous ones like the SU27, are red hot jokes in the sky.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Yes, Obama would go to Silicon Valley, and spend days there “raising money” there in private mansions. I told him that, at the very least, he ought to stop sleeping (at the homes endowed) with these plutocrats.

      There are many countries, even Britain, where this sort of behavior sends politicos to jail. Anyway, the result is the F35, the priciest , probably most ineffective defense program. Ever

  37. Patrice Ayme Says:

    Superb article. Very well done.

    One thing not considered, if I am not mistaken, is the weapon carrying capacity. Rafale has an enormous carrying capacity. It can carry ten IR BVR MICA missiles. Whereas I think F35 carries only 4, smaller, missiles internally (externally, it loses stealth).

    Cynics could point out that the ten enormous MICA are carried externally. Correct. However Rafale is protected by SPECTRA made by Thales, which is Active Stealth. In Libya, SPECTRA was used with 100% success against a fully functional missile system, in the most protected location (an advancing tank army protected with country-wide and local mobile batteries advancing with the tanks).

    Rafale was used in combat in Afghanistan, Libya, Mali and now the CAR (where it makes ground “head down” missions).

    Last but not least, Rafales can refuel each other. Rafale is also nuclear capable, as it can launch a supersonic cruise missile with a 500 kilometer range and a nuclear bomb inside. This means that, actually, Rafales could go eradicate Novosibirsk…

    Add to this extremely low speed and short take off capabilities (something the Grippen NG will have but certainly not Typhoon!)… A final point is that several French (Thales) or partly French (Thales UK, MBDA, Airbus) are subcontractors not just on Rafale, but also on Typhoon. Dassault’s argument was that it knew how to make fighter-bombers, and Airbus ought to stick to air buses (Airbus is not arguing the point anymore).

    Thus my solution: forget the F35, and go Rafale! That will allow to evolve a superb omnirole fighter-bomber, while freeing money for advanced drones.
    For recent development:

    • de Foucaud Paul Says:

      I told you the Rafale fighter has a potential of 10 MICA’s
      Maybe be configurations will change upon R3R standard.
      2 METEOR missiles looks enought to push away at long range, then you need medium BVR to cope .
      Today 6 MICA is a max qualifiied upon this aircraft.…/rafale…/emp…

      • Patrice Ayme Says:

        In the conversation we were having, the question was what the potential maximum was (the F35 carries stuff inside, small and few). Dans le cas des 10 MICAs, cela inclut-il les emplacements en bouts d’aile?

        • de Foucaud Paul Says:

          …bien entendu, il y a 2 MICA IIR en bouts d’aile.

          • Patrice Ayme Says:

            Et le MICA IIR est-il effectif contre le F22/35? Le Meteor serait-il effectif contre le F35/F22? Ou seulement le MICA?

            • de Foucaud Paul Says:

              Patrice, de mon point de vue, le plus efficace envers ces types d’avions est le MICA IIR couplé avec l’OSF NG.
              J’ai entendu parler par ailleurs d’un programme d’améliorations de ce missile, NG lui aussi.
              Dans le domaine EM impliquant radar AESA, SPECTRA, discrétion et AD’s du MICA et du METEOR nous abordons là des choses classfiées.

  38. HGR Says:

    “the result is the F35, the priciest , probably most ineffective defense program.” – Patrice, there many who disagree with this statement. Many are pilots that fought in Iraq and they say that dog-fighting has changed a lot and that the F-35 is the right plane.

    Patrice, earlier you mentioned something about Libya. I have heard over and over that the Electronic Warfare version of the F-18 is the standard by which this sort of work is measured. I have not heard a dissenting voice in this matter. Since those types of F-18 where present in Libya I wonder if you would concede that maybe they should share a degree of credit for the suppression of the Libyan defenses.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      HGR: The fact is that the initial strikes in Libya were the most effective: they burned to a crisp Qaddafi’s armor army, next to, or in the suburbs of Benghazi. This was done exclusively with Rafales and Mirages. The Rafales used Spectra to dazzle and raze the enemy missile batteries. After that was done, Qaddafi’s army was decapitated.

      American strikes started the following night. A F15 went down.

  39. Patrice Ayme Says:

    Paul: L’obstination des Americains avec le F35 est franchement etonnante… Qu’est ce qu’ils esperent?
    Le fait que la Suisse opte pour le Grippen NG est aussi etrange…
    A quand un Rafale NG?

    • de Foucaud Paul Says:

      Cher Patrice,
      Depuis le début, en regard d’expériences acquises je n’arrive pas à comprendre la pertinence du F-35 si ce n’est son impertinence tant il est loin d’acquérir les capacités du Rafale à un coût qui devrait lui être à peu près 2 fois supérieur !
      À ce titre, le puissant lobbying de LM qui mériterait une enquête approffondie en termes de coûts, s’explique pour sauver le soldat F-35 ; la plus grande arnaque du siècle.

  40. Scandalously Socialist France | Some of Patrice Ayme's Thoughts Says:

    […] France is, by USA standards, the very definition of a socialist country. But, without fighting the American Circus, little can be done against global plutocracy. The USA pretty much behaves like a Den of Thieves. Look at the F35 program, the most expensive military program in the history of the world, by far. It has dragged many countries into a most dangerous corruption. […]

  41. Patrice Ayme Says:

    Paul: What’s new and superior about the Rafale’s new standard?

    • de Foucaud Paul Says:

      Typically, from my point of view.
      new improvements about this new standard are concerns about the weapon systems :
      -1) A2A :
      -1.1) METEOR Ramjet BVR long range missile intégration with ASEA Radar modes had hoc,
      -1.2) MICA NG may be ;
      -2) AG :
      -2.1) new Pod Damoclès for enhanced ISR. geolocalisation and laser capabilies for medium range AASM GPS and laser guided,
      -2.2) new AESA modes with GMTI, GMTT, SAR THR and geolocalisation,
      – 2.3) enhanced ESM localisation,
      – 2.4) data fusion.
      -3) Antisurface warfare ( Exocet NG) intégration ?
      -4) others :
      – IFF,
      – SPECTRA,
      – …
      A lot of things not avaliable for a long time for the F-35 with such a level of performances and capabilities.

      • Paul Pieter Kruijmer Says:

        Merci pour ces eclaircissements Paul.

        • de Foucaud Paul Says:

          Ceci est du à un travail de longue haleine dont nous pouvons être fiers en regard de nos budgets.

          • Patrice Ayme Says:

            En effet. Tout l’argent du monde ne saurait acheter la pensee le plus profonde au monde. Car l’esprit le plus eleve’ n’a que faire de ceux qu’il depasse.

            • de Foucaud Paul Says:

              Absolument pertinente cette réponse.
              Merci Patrice.
              Tout ceci montre la créativité des français en dehors des dogmes et des sentiers battus !
              Il nous manque un anglo-saxon pour le commercial et un italien pour la communication et le lobbying.

  42. de Foucaud Paul Says:

    Where are the others : nowhere.
    Stop combat or go in with propellers.
    Good luck !

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      The USA actually is reintroducing a propeller plane, the Tucano, made in Italy or Brazil, to replace, sort of, the… A10, a bi engine anti tank jet built like a tank… This is getting ever more surreal, every day. Soon the motorized hang glider will replace the F35 successfully…

  43. Patrice Ayme Says:

    Truth starting to reach the USA MSM:

    • Paul de Foucaud Says:

      ne vous en avais je pas déjà informé et pour l’avoir sérieusement argumenté que ce programme allait aller dans le mur ?
      C’est en fait le plus grand programme de désarmement du TAC Air des USA et de l’Europe.
      Un vrai trou noir…
      Toujours vôtre sur ce sujet.

    • de Foucaud Says:

      Patrice, ne vous en avais je pas déjà informé et pour l’avoir sérieusement argumenté que ce programme allait aller dans le mur ? C’est en fait le plus grand programme de désarmement du TAC Air des USA et de l’Europe. Un vrai trou noir… Toujours vôtre sur ce sujet. Paul.

      Envoyé de mon iPhone


      • Patrice Ayme Says:

        N’ hesitez pas, mon cher Paul a etre avec moi contre Putin. Voir mon dernier essai. On va pas avoir ‘l’air malin avec des F22s…

        • Paul de Foucaud Says:

          au risque de vous décevoir, je pense que vous faites fausse route envers le nouveau Tsar de la Russie.
          Une nouvelle guerre froide n’a aucun sens.
          Sortons de clichés edulcolorés que diable !
          Les Tsar à largement 3 coups d’avance aux échecs.
          Ne nous sommes pas que des benêts à l’ouest ,

  44. » VIDEO: F22 Raptor Thrust Vectoring Approaching Supersonic Speed HD - Says:

    […] French Rafale Versus USA Corruption […]

  45. Patrice Ayme Says:

    [Sent to RSN, after a F35 caught fire, but the fleet is not down, as a F35 is supposed to fly to England for the British carrier.]

    This story of corruption already happened with the F22 Raptor (which was never engaged in war missions, not even in Libya). But this time it’s worse. Way worse.

    The paradox is that the plane’s passive stealth system cannot be seen on some radar frequencies, but very well on others.

    The French Rafale uses active stealth: the plane is covered with antennas, and focuses electromagnetic emissions that add up to silence for the source, whatever the frequency of the source. That system was used in Libya before the Libyan anti-aircraft system was attacked by the USA, and it worked very well, even against (secretly introduced) latest Russian missiles.

    The F35 flying characteristics (thrust to weight, wing loading, carrying capacity) makes it no better than the notorious F105 Thunderchief of the Vietnam war (which was a disaster).

    In particular the F35 can pull only 4 gs in acceleration (not good to dodge missiles). By comparison, the Rafales pulls 11 gs (it has specially inclined seats).

    Another problem with USA style stealth is that the planes can be seen in Infra-Red, and targeted by IR missiles. In any case, F22 performed poorly against Eurofighters (which themselves perform poorly against Rafales). Even an old Mirage shot down several F22s.

    What does that all mean? Massive corruption. Solution: develop an advanced version of the Rafale under license with Dassault as industrial leader. Or lose the next war with Putin: Russia and China have deployed anti-F35 radars

    • paul051 Says:

      to follow your last comment about that F-35 scandal, I am astonished about an engine fire after a 12 years in devlopment recently.
      Noting the fact the engine cost is not only included in the fly away cost of the whole aircraft package ; the engine cost only is not far from the initial figures provided by LM to promote this aircraft worldwide.
      More, millions of line codes must be tested before a go to war.
      What a poor management for a trillion bucks + program !
      The question now is : are the USA be able to cope with airsuperiority and business ?

  46. Patrice Ayme Says:

    Thrust vectoring uses lots of fuel, and the F22, and giant Russian planes that use it are highly visible, just because they are big.

    • paul051 Says:

      Trop chaud dans ses 6,
      Il reste très vulnérable.

      • Patrice Ayme Says:

        Yes, didn’t think about that, the heat of thrust vectoring…. “Dans ses 6?? What does that mean?

        • paul051 Says:

          When dogfighting in the past the most dangerous sector was always in your 6 oclock because the opponent you have not seen will kill you. So : “Check your 6”
          Today, multi sectors missiles have changed a lot the tactics in air to air warfare.
          What happens if BVR missiles fails cause of hard manoeuvers coupled with jaming ? Things are closing first within the range of BVR IIR missiles and after within the range of VVR missiles.
          Then, the hot sector “in your 6” is looking as a piece of cake even from the front sector.
          Go ahead after and the dogfight will finish with gunnery.
          Some time ago, the F-22 video against a Rafale demonstrated theese facts clearly issued from one of an expert point of view.

          • Patrice Ayme Says:

            Agreed, Paul. It will end up with guns. Actually the F22 and the giant Russian planes will deck first, by thrust vectoring themselves out of fuel. You should apply your astute analyses to more recent essays of mine. They are all about combat too. More preliminary stages: see the ultimatum to Putin… ;=-)!

  47. picard578 Says:

    Regarding TVC, it is only useful for aircraft that are either too large or aerodynamically compromised. But even then, it comes with major penalties in terms of drag, fuel consumption and safety.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Yes, indeed. But then we need to send vintage planes to Iraq now (I was very much against the 2003 USA invasion, BTW). I would be curious to know your opinion of my latest essay, or comments you would think of:

      Did you reblog my “Obama Neo-Con”? I got a notive telling me this, but then I lost it…

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      I liked very much your article on the fact that two engines was worse than one. However, apparently, the F35 is only safe without any engine, as, otherwise, it is prone to fire. Could be made into the first stealth glider, maybe?

      • picard578 Says:

        I had a thought about making it into an unmanned kamikaze plane, load it with fuel and some bombs and then crash it into the enemy ship… of course, cruise missiles do it better and at less cost.

        • Patrice Ayme Says:

          The Nazis used a cruise missile to sink Italy’s biggest and most modern battleship in 1943… I read that the F35 can be picked up on WWII (high frequency) radar

          • picard578 Says:

            “I read that the F35 can be picked up on WWII (high frequency) radar”

            It is VHF radar actually, I even did an article about the F-35 (“How stealthy is the F-35”, IIRC) that adresses the issue.

            • paul051 Says:

              Dear Picard578,
              low bandwith radars are indéfectible in front stealthiness matched for X band hight frequency radars used to conduct air weaponery as well for air to ground identification and geolocalisation for targeting in all weather conditions.
              If stealthiness is not good on the Infrared Spectrum, as soon in clear sky that value can be blown out by any good Infrared weapons Systems.
              Take the time to have a look on the Rafale for that.

  48. paul051 Says:

    Stealth as it is seen for the F-35 is just able to match radars full in front on the X band Spectrum.
    It is still existing radars using low and very low bandwith.
    Even within the VHF the F-35’s stealthiness is obsolete.
    That said, when using such a radar, the data provided are more and more poor in speed and range as far as the bandwith used is low.
    This is enough to direct an air picture inbound to conduct counter air ops.
    A F-117 paid the price for that purpose over Serbia.

  49. Paladin Says:

    This whole site is useless because it’s ALL opinion, no numbers, no data. All BS

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      It’s even more useless to make blanket statements. The F22 and F35 can’t carry much, and their stealth don’t work (they can be Infra Red detected). F35 can’t even fly because their engines oscillate, and then catch fire (!) They try to add screws to fix that… This is why a show was made of the first F22 ever used in combat, dropping one bomb over Iraq in Fall 2014. Wow.

  50. Patrice Ayme Says:

    [Sent to Wired, Feb 13, 2015.]

    Many commenters called the IXV craft “mostly German”. And that’s correct, inasmuch as the Franks are German. Most of the companies involved in it (Thales, ONERA, Dassault, etc.) are French. Germany is mostly involved through Airbus (based in Toulouse).

  51. Patrice Ayme Says:

    [sent to Aviation Week, June 24, 2015.]

    Why not forget the F35, and build instead a tweaked (?) Rafale, in the USA? One should get economies of scale… And Rafale can do all what the F18 can do, and the F35 is supposed to do, someday… Plus, Rafale uses ACTIVE stealth, so as computing improves, so does it.

  52. Patrice Ayme Says:

    [Sent to Aviation Week, July 4, 2015.]

    It looks as if the F35 project is a magnificent example of transnational corruption. Most of the countries of the West, with the exception of France and the USA, have been heavily disarming, so it makes sense. The F35 is a stealthy tool for more unilateral disarmament… And thus stealthy encouragement for the bad actors.

    • paul051 Says:

      Dear Patrice,
      the recent last F-35 news about its poor air dogfighting abilites in front of an old F-16 are making great noise.
      So now the truth emerge from this F-35 scandal, an aircraft that “can’t turn, can’t climb, can’t accelerate” and more : can’t check its six in combat.

      • Patrice Ayme Says:

        Dear Paul: At least the Maginot Line worked as anticipated. This is way worse. I believe that a lot of the aggressivity of China and Russia comes precisely from their feeling that the West does not intent to go to war in the next few decades, as proven by its development of a plane that can’t do a thing. Aside from sucking up all the money.

  53. Patrice Ayme Says:

    “Stealth” fighter F35, or another example of how a great empire got so corrupt, its armed forces became ineffective

    • paul051 Says:

      I met once this famous editorialist in London at a Fighter Conference.
      Bill Sweetman is always able to put the nail at the right place.

      • Patrice Ayme Says:

        I find just incredible that this F35 madness keeps on going. It’s a military danger. With electronics advancing by leaps and bounds, the F35 will soon be as easy to spot as the International Space Station…

  54. Ahmet Birsen Says:

    Patrice Ayme ..Thanks for the litany of meaningless generalizations assumptions and unproved claims and views.. I am still laughing..
    Typhoon pilot Marc Grüne ( the best Typhoon pilot around who also has defeated lots of Rafale’s in France ) said after Red Flag excercise in Alaska that the Eurofighter is on par with F-22 WVR but dead meat in BVR.. word for word.. So you go and live in your world of fantasy. And your Picture showing the F-22 inside RAFALE’s crosshair is also a joke..Rafale could never fire anything from that position besides ..French Air Force is famous for such childish images which is made for their home audience ..

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      F22 superior Beyond Visual Range????? How? By using homing pigeons? Rafale may see the F22 radar from 900 kilometers away (maybe you don’t know what a kilometer is?)
      So radar is useless.

      Both Typhoon (headquarters at Airbus in Toulouse FRANCE) and Rafale (headquarters in FRANCE too) are much better than F22 at INFRA RED in all sorts of ways (detection and using it for destruction). Plus the Rafale has the MICA INFRA RED missile which pulls 50 g at Mach 4 (the American main missile pulls only 40 g at Mach 4 and does not have MICA capability).

      Rafale and Typhoons are improving, as production of better types goes on, whereas the F22, whose production stopped several years ago, is not.

      Cretins often laugh without stopping. Don’t worry, you can still be happy. Clearly Rafale’s superiority is more evident everyday. Here is a quote from

      …As it can be seen, there is significant difference in aircraft on-ground survivability in Rafale’s favor. Rafale also requires far smaller maintenance support and far less fuel for operations, leading to reduced logistical footprint.


      While both aircraft have (oftentimes significant) advantages over each other in air-to-air combat, deciding factor will most likely be pilot’s skill. Overall, Rafale can be considered slightly superior to the F-22 even in “sterile” comparison. When it comes to things that matter the most in air war – pilot skill, field supportability, basing flexibility and on-ground survivability – Rafale is significantly superior to the F-22. In the air, Rafale will be unable to regularly surprise the F-22 due to its lack of cruise performance, while F-22 wil be unable to surprise Rafale due to its lack of IRST. However, F-22 will have significant kinematic advantage due to higher cruise speed and service ceilling. In dogfight, Rafale will have superior transient performance while F-22 will be superior at energy management.

      [Except that THRUST VECTORING USED by F22 will see it quickly running out of fuel in dog fight!!!!!]

      Further reading

  55. Ahmet Birsen Says:

    Grossly inaccurate internet fanboy speculation, that is also how it will stay without any credible sources to back those claims up
    Even your own French links deny that Rafale has beaten the Raptor. Enjoy

    I bet the French pilots where thankful that their USAF colleagues were not allowed the simulated employment of AMRAAM. After all, in a real fight in the future a F-22 would defeat Rafale BEFORE the Rafale could even get a MICA shot vs the F-22. if one RAFALE gets close, it will have the AIM-9X’s to deal with..

    The US lead in AESA technology is so large that it’s beyond competition in pure performance. French Rafale also has AESA radar now, but years behind US technology
    UAE has requested an improved version of that radar, better than the F-16 blk60, as a prerequisite for any order of the Rafale and Dassault can’t still deliver ! APG-77 is at least a whole decade if not two decades ahead of anything THALES can deliver in the future.

    I suggest that you actually ‘look into’ the facts rather than typing nonsense bluff. Your statement makes no sense. Why don’t you reply when a) you have even a rudimentary knowledge of what we are talking about ..Your posts and your personal conclusions are ridiculous.. Anyway its your site you can post whatever you wan’t .

    Btw..The Eurofighter versus Rafale, the same German pilot Marc Grüne is a notorious RAFALE killer..I read a report about RAFALE versus Typhoon when he killed two Rafales with ease.

    Major Marc Grüne, CO of 742 (Zapata), the second squadron of the wing, described to assembled aviation journalists how, on a recent visit to France to demo the aircraft, he had won two out of two battles against the Dassault Rafale in mock within visual range dogfights. Both fights were a standard set-up and merge at 21,000ft and 30,000ft he recounted, adding that the higher the fight the better the Eurofighter liked it. He singled out the Eurofighters excess power, higher t/w ratio as its trump card over the Rafale .

    The EF Typhoon is faster than Rafale ,has better climb performance ,superior T/W ratio and better acceleration and has the AMRAAM which outranges the MICA by 25 km and soon with CAPTOR-E radar it will have a massively superior AESA radar and thats the reason why KUWAIT ordered 28 ..

    >>Rafale and Typhoons are improving, as production of better types goes on, whereas the F22, whose production stopped several years ago, is not. <<

    Because the USAF don't need more than 187 fighters..The only disadvantage of the RAPTOR is its price and operational expenses, not its capabilities.

    Remember the RAPTORS didn't have the AIM-9X's yet in these mockup fights !!!!!!!!

    Have a nice day with your fanboy dreams mate..Cheers.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      “My own French links”????? You are the one who linked to a French magazine!!!!!!!!!! (From way back, 2010, to boot; I will look at it when I have time, got to run now!) All the links I provided are USA. The Rafale, a plane produced right now, is much improved since 2010, in several ways, from passive stealth to active scanning radar. It’s also to get the METEOR, a ramjet, the F22 or F35 can’t carry (too big for them)

      I will look at what you sent later.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      The article you linked to said the encounter between Rafale and F22 resulted in a draw. What they don’t say, but I know, is that the Rafales tested were from a ground attack squadron, not an interceptor squadron. I hope you are not crying in disbelief.

      The Americans refused to make Beyond Visual Range mock fights. Maybe something about F22’s larger IR signature. Obama has recognized specialists told him to stop the F22, because “it does not work too well”.

      The F22 AN/ALR-94 is supposed to be the top equipment of the F22. It’s made by BAE (*BRITISH Aero Space). You dump on French THALES, which specializes in military electronics, spends a huge research budget, and was selected by the Royal Navy to equip the two Elizabeth aircraft carriers.

      AN/ALR-94 is a radar that switches quickly through frequencies to escape detection. But I doubt SPECTRA, built by THALES can’t handle it. Or then why would the Royal Navy select THALES instead of BAE?????

      Your urge to insult me can only be explained by the fact that Dassault Rafale and Airbus F22 are in production, but not the F22. Airframes age, if anything.

      The very recent articles I linked to, by great specialists, show that the Rafale is superior, even as an INTERCEPTOR to F22.

      The problem: radar cannot be used… Nor speed. Once detected, the planes ought to be capable to avoid missiles… But the Rafale has the highest “Transient Performances” of the three. Rafale can pull 11 (eleven) g. The F22 loses lift when maximally accelerating in a turn, whereas the two Franco-European CANARDS gain lift.

  56. Ahmet Birsen Says:

    >>It’s also to get the METEOR, a ramjet, the F22 or F35 can’t carry (too big for them) <Z>In any case, F22 performed poorly against Eurofighters (which themselves perform poorly against Rafales).

    You have an uncanny ability to invent fantasy strories..

    >>Even an old Mirage shot down several F22s <<

    This is the best part !!! It must have been a dream ..

    Conclusion: Rafale is a capable aircraft, I won't and haven't argued against that. I argue that in any current real life situation, the F-22 and the EF and the future F-35 will not find themselves at any disadvantage besides , dogfights rarely happens, supersonic maneuverability is useless if you don't know you have already been detected and you're being shot at.

  57. Ahmet Birsen Says:

    interesting link..

    isn’t it interesting that even the EUROFIGHTER forum estimates F-22’s BVR capability higher than their own ?

  58. Ahmet Birsen Says:

    Last but not least mate, if the RAFALE is soo good as you say I mean better than F-22 , Typhoon ,F-35 which means it must be better than any Russian fighter as well why it is so difficult to find customers ?
    Egypt bought 24 because General Sissy wanted to show how disapponted he was with Americans after his military coup, Qatar wants to order 24 but no contract has been signed yet Dassault insists on advance payments which Qatar refuses , the UAE is waiting until the RAFALE gets 9 tons engines and an AESA radar that is at least on par with their new Block 60 F-16’s AN/APG-80 ( the present one is obviously not ) and INDIA has reduced its order from 126 to 36 !
    Dassault has been trying to sell his fighter all over the world since 12 years , presenting it as onmi-role fighter ( nobody knows what that means) and before Egypts order, Dassault assembly line producing only 11 fighters a year was close to shut down. French Air Force was buying fighters they didn’t need in order to keep the line open..The first 3 Rafales delivered to Egypt were produced for the French Air Force !
    The RAFALE ,the best fighter ever created, even the good old M 2000 sold more in the first 12 years ! I don’t understand that .

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      This is not a new argument: judging a plane by its commercial success. This exhibits confusion. It would lead to believe the Me262 was a very bad plane.

      As I intimated in the title, it’s a problem of corruption. The F22 is history, even historical, pilots have problems, just breathing in them, the plane cannot stay in the air for proper training, even in the periods when it is allowed to fly. The F35 is even worse: it’s basically good at nothing. For the USA to recognize defeat and buy French planes (Rafales or Typhoons/Eurofighter) would be an enormous disaster, economically, politically, technologically. But I say the USA should bite the bullet, and build the Rafale under license… They can always put slightly more powerful engines (although Dassault would argue against it). Speed is limited by air intakes and stealth in the F22, Rafale, Typhoon… That’s why they are way slower than older planes…

  59. Patrice Ayme Says:

    [Sent to WIRED, April 11, 2016.]

    So far the spending is well above 110 billion dollars, in the USA alone. Thus about half a billion for each plane, and they don’t work. At all. The F35 fly, sometimes, but cannot be used for any military mission. Whatsoever. More and more things are going wrong with the plane.

  60. Military Industrial Complex: A Necessary Danger To Civilization | Patrice Ayme's Thoughts Says:

    […] we can observe similar phenomena: US corruption has brought the reign of the F35, an obsolete, but extremely expensive weapon. Meanwhile, the Barbarians, including Kim of Korea, […]

  61. Patrice Ayme Says:

    [Sent to Aviation Week, July 5, 2016.

    Passive stealth is as old as World War Two. What about active stealth, fighting signal with signal out of phase, such as with the Rafale’s Spectre? Why is not that more modern alternative mentioned?
    Rafales, flying in protection for bombing Mirages, were used to suppress a fully functional Libyan air defense system, hours before American missile strikes wiped it out.

  62. Patrice Ayme Says:

    And more: Unbalanced analysis is tantamount to a form of mental corruption. But I can understand that the Typhoon and the Rafale present a much more serious threat to US defense contractors than the SU 35…
    See “Patrice Ayme French Rafale Versus US Corruption” from 2012

  63. Patrice Ayme Says:

    [Sent to Aviation eek:
    February 21, 2017…]

    A state of the art improved version of the Rafale is an obvious choice, not just for Europe, but for the USA. Rafales fly off US carriers without a problem, they have done so for years!

    Advanced (that is improved with ultramodern tweaks here and there) Rafales could be built in the USA under licence. Something similar happened during World War One: several French weapon systems, from planes to the 75mm gun, were mass produced in the US.

    Why is the Rafale so superior? It is much smaller than the F22 (although it can carry its own weight, thanks to its canard front wings). It has ACTIVE stealth (so it took on the full anti-aircraft Libyan defenses, before they were suppressed). It has also 2 engines and diminished Infra Red signature (relative to the single engine F35). The Rafale is also the best dog-fighter among all the existing fighters. This means it can dodge missiles better than any other fighter.

    The Rafale is superior to F18 Superhornet in all ways, except range (but Rafales can refuel each other and are nuclear strike capable, with supersonic stand-off cruise missiles).

    Building a super Rafale under licence is a no-brainier. It could be counter-balance by transfer of superior drone technology to France

    BTW, Rafale is superior in all ways to the Eurofighter, an Airbus plane, except from sheer high altitude speed. However the Rafale can supercruise supersonically with a full weapon load…

  64. Dukeofurl Says:

    dukeofurl on Feb 21, 2017
    I can see your point about the Rafale, for its size its a very capable plane. The most I coud see happen is the structural frame of the rafale which runs from the front bulkhead to the tail support and add a new LO skin for US use.

    • Patrice Ayme Says: on Feb 21, 2017
      Rafale has plenty of low observability skin, especially relative to heat treatment in the forward aspect (that was done recently). Low Observability in Infra Red is crucial. The French have an Infra Red missile, the MICA, which a range from 0 to 50 kilometers (further if launched at high altitude, supersonic), capable of Mach 4, and 50 gs.

      The F35 cannot handle such missiles at all: its partial radar stealth is useless in Infra Red, it’s too slow, incapable of acceleration high enough to avoid the missile. Moreover, during its flight, the MICA (both RF and IR) can act as an extra sensor, beaming back information to the Rafale…

      Where the Rafale could be improved is on some of its electronics, like the AESA radar. The French can do it, they already have one, but a better version will cost money. Rafale carries the METEOR (it’s not clear the F35 can). METEOR is a Mach 5 ramjet with enormous range.

      It’s a case where international collaboration would make lots of sense (BTW, advanced F16s carry the MICA IR).

  65. Patrice Ayme Says:

    The corrupt ones manipulate the Red Flgs exercises, so that the gravy train can keep on coming their way. In the latest twist they proclaimed the F35 beats everybody…

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